Beginning Google Maps API 3
Beginning Google Maps API 3

Author: Gabriel Svennerberg
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Pages: 328
ISBN: 978-1430228028
Aimed at: Complete beginners to Google Maps 
Rating: 4
Pros: Slow-paced, gentle introduction
Cons: Only covers the basics
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot


Google Maps is a popular topic - is this book a good way to discover about it?


Author: Gabriel Svennerberg
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Pages: 328
ISBN: 978-1430228028
Aimed at: Complete beginners to Google Maps 
Rating: 4
Pros: Slow-paced, gentle introduction
Cons: Only covers the basics
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

 

This is a fairly basic introduction to using the Google Maps API 3 via Javascript. It doesn't cover Google Earth and it doesn't cover any wider issues of creating map-based applications.


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Chapter 1 gives the overview - history, API and basics of mapping, co-ordinates etc. This isn't rocket science in that it explains what latitude and longitude are rather than going into spherical geometry or the geode.

Chapter 2 is about upgrading to API 3 and Chapter 3 is about creating your first map. From this point the book delves deeper into the various facilities. MapOptions, Markers,.Marker icons, InfoWindow tips and tricks, polylines and polygons.

All of this is explained in a slow and steady style with lots of hints and tips on the way. What you make of the tips depends on how advanced your programming skills are. For example, "A clever way of dealing with lots of different marker icons" is to use an array. Is this clever? It might be if you didn't know about arrays - but then you probably should read a book on Javascript first. Other tips and discussions vary in their level - from using sprites to finding icons.

Chapter 9 is about managing large numbers of icons but via a third party utility library rather then from first principles and the final chapter is on using Geolocation services. The book closes with a useful API reference - but you will probably find the Google API reference just as useful.

As its title suggests this really is a "beginning" Google Maps book. While it does have an introduction to Javascript within it you would be well advised to learn some Javascript before trying to make use of Maps which is a 100% Javascript API. It is a shame that the book doesn't cover some of the more interesting topics - KML, mobile etc but if you are looking for a real 100% beginner's book then this one fits the description.

Further reading:

Getting started with Google Maps

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Think Bayes

Author: Allen B Downey
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 210
ISBN: 978-1449370787
Audience: Python programmers
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Mike James

Learning about Bayesian stats while programming in Python seems like a good idea. What could possibly go wrong?



Understanding Computation

Author: Tom Stuart
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 332
ISBN: 978-1449329273
Audience: Rubyists who want to know more about computer science
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James

What exactly is computation? In many ways it is important to know what this book is not about.


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 October 2010 )
 
 

   
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