Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS
Author: Sterling Udell
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-1430216209
Aimed at: Users of the Google Maps API
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Practical, includes lots of examples
Cons: Omits using live GPS/Mobile phone generated data
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

This is a practical guide to working with Google Maps API to integrate geodata into your own website. It is plain speaking and has lots of simple examples.


Part I is a basic introduction to The Geoweb and the Google Maps API. It starts off with the basics of geodata and shows you how to get started with the Google Maps API. It also explains the use of XML in representing geodata and show how to use Google Map's own version GeoXML in your web pages. By the end of this section you should have the basics of using Google Maps in your web pages.

Part II moves on to using your code with Google Maps. Mapplets are small gadgets that can be hosted on the Google Maps site. Mapplets are not as well known as the Google API and this book serves to highlight their existence, point out what you might use them for and explains how to.

Part III of the book is a rounding out. It goes into more advanced features of the API, producing geodata and a case study. There are some useful, but not wholely adequate, appendices on map fundamentals and an introduction to Javascript. In both cases if you need to fill in background idea on either topic you need an additional book.

Overall this is a good book on using Google Maps and it should inspire you to think up new ways to get value out of mapping and geodata in general. Missing from its coverage is anything much to do with using live GPS/Mobile phone generated data but you can't expect it to cover everything. If you want to get stared with Google Maps then this is a good place to begin your journey.

Last Updated ( Friday, 10 September 2010 )