|Google Maps Adds New APIs
|Written by Alex Denham
|Monday, 04 September 2023
Google is trying out new map styles and has added new environment APIs to its Maps Platform. The Google Maps Platform is a set of APIs and SDKs that can be used to embed Google Maps into mobile apps and web pages, or to retrieve data from Google Maps.
Google Maps Platform includes various Web and Webservice APIs for embedding maps, places, street views, roads, directions, distance matrix, elevation, geocoding, and geolocation.
It is charged for on a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Some Google Maps Platform SKUs have a monthly credit for map use, there's a free tier of 28,500 maploads per month for no charge, and Google offers a Cloud $0 trial. Map developers have pointed out that the costs soon add up, with a static map costing 2$ per 1,000 requests, and once map interactivity is added, prices become much higher.
Google's latest announcements start with a new suite of Environment APIs that can be used to show environmental 'features', specifically Solar, Air Quality, and Pollen.
The Solar API is aimed at solar companies who want to provide information to potential customers about solar installation. The Solar API is an extension of an earlier Google tool called Project Sunroof that could be used to provide a personalized solar savings estimator for consumers powered by Google Earth imagery. Google has expanded the features provided by that tool using artificial intelligence to provide data and insights that Google says are more precise than publicly available LIDAR data or satellite-derived 3D models. The Solar API offers "Building Insights" that provide information including the amount of sunlight a building receives and the most energy efficient solar panel array. Data Layers then show more detailed information such as the shading that may affect a system's performance and the digital surface model of the rooftop.
The Air Quality API can be used to access air quality data, and the ability to visualize pollution via heatmaps. Google says:
"To account for the dynamic nature of air pollution, we combine information from multiple data sources, which include government monitoring stations, low-cost sensors, meteorological data, satellites, land cover, and live traffic information."
The third new API provides access to current pollen information for the most common allergens worldwide. The Pollen API provides localized pollen count data, heatmap visualizations, and detailed plant allergen information.
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|Last Updated ( Monday, 04 September 2023 )