Interview with Google Maps API Succinctly Author Mark Lewin

The following is a short interview with Succinctly series author Mark Lewin, whose latest book, Google Maps API Succinctly, was published on Monday, August 6. You can download the book from our website.

1. What should people know about the subject of your book? Why is it important?

If you’re looking to put a map on a webpage, then Google Maps is about the simplest way to do it. Unlike some of the other mapping APIs, you don’t have to go hunting for suitable base map imagery and data layers and then figure a way to serve it all up to your client: you can use Google’s own maps and data with an interface that your users will instantly be familiar with. But you’re not limited to Google’s stuff—you can use the Google Maps API to plot your own geospatial data and leverage the power of mapping to gain real insights from it. While all of this information is available in the Google Maps API reference, here I have tried to pull it all together in a logical way that guides readers through creating their first map and doing some really cool and interesting things with it.

 

2. When did you first become interested in Google Maps?

I used to work for the world’s leading Geospatial Information Systems company, back in the day when the concept of putting maps on the web was a fairly new, and not particular well-implemented idea. When I first saw the Google Maps API, I was blown away by how simple and easy it was to use. A way of interacting with a map that was really intuitive and “just worked,” unlike some of the solutions I was working with that were aimed at geographers and painfully slow and complex to use by mere mortals. I was hooked on the possibilities that the Google Maps API offered, especially access to all that map data with just a bit of sample JavaScript.


3. By writing this e-book, did you learn anything new yourself?

A new appreciation for just how easy and intuitive this API is to use.

 

4. How will this subject change over the next few years?

Hard to say. Certainly, location awareness is becoming increasingly important, especially with all the Internet of Things stuff that is going on and the interest in augmented reality for games and other more serious applications. There will be more focus on 3D, that’s for sure. And I suspect Google will continue to enable more hyper-local data, including building interiors that will support the cross-over from the web into the real world. As more and more data is being created, a lot of which will have a spatial context, new ways to visualize that data will doubtless appear, too.


5. Do you see Google Maps API as part of a larger trend in software development?

Yes: “big data” about the real world, tied to specific geographic locations, can only serve to make solutions like the Google Maps API increasingly important.


6. What other books or resources on this topic do you recommend?

Check out my Pluralsight course Google Maps API: Get Started. It’s a bit out of date now, but still very relevant..

If you like this blog post, we think you’ll also like the following free e-books:

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