Intern Adds Weather Layer to Google Maps API

Adam DuVander, April 5th, 2012

Google MapsGoogle intern Joey Scarr had a busy first month at the search giant’s Sydney office, home of much of the Google Maps API engineering team. Scarr added the weather layer, available on the Google Maps website, as an optional layer in the API. The resulting feature even gets you at some of the data, making it close to an official Google Weather API.

The weather layer adds current temperatures and conditions via map markers. There are a few settings, such as label color and units of measurement, but otherwise the layer does most of the work. Info windows with detailed forecasts can be disabled.

In addition to the weather layer, the announcement post also references a new cloud layer. Developers can activate cloud cover imagery for the furthest-out seven zoom levels.

Perhaps more exciting than the layers themselves is that developers can get access to some of the data via JavaScript, but it appears only via a click event. Google’s secret weather API provides more data, albeit in a completely unofficial capacity.

We would love to see an official Google API for weather, but the company is likely not allowed to redistribute the data. It gets weather data via the Weather Channel API.

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.