Apple Launches JavaScript Map Kit
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Apple has released a beta version of a JavaScript library for working with interactive maps on web pages. MapKit JS provides map rendering that is optimized for various browsers and devices, and supports native gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and two-finger rotate.

The new library was announced at Apple's WWDC. It is a development of an existing API that can be used by iOS developers to embed Apple maps into iOS apps. The new version can be used to embed the maps into websites as well, providing continuity between iOS and Web.




The new version of the library provides the same features as MapKit API for iOS, so can pull live data from Apple Maps' data sources, and supports the use of gestures such as pinch to zoom. Client-side rendering provides full WebGL map rendering on the client, which Apple says mirrors how native Apple Maps look. When used on older hardware, the libary will "gracefully degrade to a rasterised image tile approach", according to Apple. 

The beta version comes with sample code and examples showing how to use the maps in websites, including samples for the four main functions - embed, annotate, draggable annotate and custom callouts. The annotate sample shows how to annotate maps with custom legends and landmarks, while the draggable annotations sample shows how to move annotations around on an embedded map. Custom callouts let you create views that pop up when a user taps on an annotation view.

Use of the library does involve having an Apple Developer account at $99 a year, and to use the beta, developers will need to set up core Maps identifiers, keys, and tokens via their developer account. The beta version limits usage to  250,000 instantiations and 25,000 service calls, per API key per day, compared to Google's limit of 100,000 map instantiations per month on the free tier.





More Information

Video Introduction Of MapKit JS

MapKit JS beta site

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 June 2018 )