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Mobile Mapping on Android and iPhone Using the Google Maps JavaScript API

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Using the Google Maps JavaScript API v3, Shawn Shen, a Developer Advocate at Google, demonstrates how to combine Google mapping technology with embedded browsers to integrate maps into native iPhone and Android apps.

Introduction

The mobile web has really come of age in the last couple of years, thanks in large part to innovations ushered in by the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and more recently Android devices. The unique combination of these location-aware devices and "mobile browser with touch" technologies has opened a wide range of possibilities for mobile applications.

A prime example of a mobile application is Google Mobile Maps, whose phenomenal usage growth has demonstrated that mobile mapping and location-based services provide integral experiences to users on the go as well as potential opportunities for killer mobile apps.

More examples of these geomobile apps include foursquare, Gowalla, WHERE, MyTown, and many others. To thrive, these apps need two essential ingredients:

  • A comprehensive geospatial data source and services, to provide content as well as context
  • A flexible, easy-to-use, high-performance, feature-rich application programming interface (API) to enable access to the geospatial data and services

Almost all of these geomobile apps choose the same supplier for their essential ingredients:

In this article, I'll show you how to implement a basic map using Google Maps JavaScript API v3 and how to integrate such a map into native mobile apps on Android and iPhone using embedded browsers. Before we dive into implementation detail, let's first examine the key merits of this design doctrine.

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