Google’s mapping API is one of the most-used application interfaces on the web. It’s largely responsible for the recent explosion of map-based mashups. The massive popularity of Google Maps has also given rise to a new word in the web developer’s lexicon — geocodes.
Maps require a latitude and longitude point to plot specific locations. Whenever you’re programming a custom map using Google’s API, you will nee to convert the relevant city name, ZIP code, or address to latitude and longitude points. This process is called geocoding.
That’s where geocoding via HTTP comes in handy.
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Since the major search engines have opened up their mapping tools to programmers, geocoding has become an essential step in the process of building many a mashup.
Geocoding is the process of converting human-readable place data — a city name, ZIP code, or address — to latitude and longitude points that can be easily plotted on a map.
Yahoo’s HTTP Geocoder API is easy to use, and its output is easy to incorporate into your applications. This article will describe its features and show some examples of how to access the results.
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The microblogging site with the funny name is one of the hottest web services around.
Twitter is one of those websites with very little room for functional nuance. Its limit of 140 characters per post forces users to be succinct, something that makes many people feel over-constrained and leads them to view the service as too simple to actually be useful. Others see unbridled freedom inside such a unique limitation and embrace it like a poetic device. The lesson: You either get Twitter or you don’t.
Regardless of how you feel about it, if you’re looking to try out an API for the first time, Twitter is a great place to start.
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Online maps are a popular way to spice up a site. To get the most use out of them, you need data to plot: addresses from a database, location clicks from the user or at least coordinates for the map’s center. With any map, you have to start somewhere.
If you’re low on data, you can fill in the map with local listings, such as those you’d find in the Yellow Pages. You can show coffee shops or pizza joints right along your other data, or even on its own.
In this tutorial I’ll show how to use Yahoo Local to search for nearby businesses and landmarks, then plot those locations on a Yahoo Map using the Ajax API.
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It seems every mapping website has an API these days. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Mapquest… how do you choose? With Mapstraction, you don’t have to.
To help you on your way to using Mapstraction, we’ll simply create a map we can display on a web page, and then add a marker to denote a particular location.
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