It used to be you could change anything layered on top of a map, but you couldn’t change the underlying map itself. Now you have several options for changing the color palette and the visibility of different objects that make up your base map. The options vary on the amount you can customize and how much work is required. But all three of these APIs can have you map scripting with style.
Earlier this month I eulogized the Yahoo Maps API. It was launched the same week as the Google Maps API and for some time was often mentioned at the same time. The Yahoo Maps API, it appeared, was to be disconnected by now, but it appears the company is going to wait a bit longer.
These days it might be hard to remember that the Yahoo Maps API was ever second fiddle to the Google Maps API. These days, it barely picks up its fiddle. And in less than two weeks, Yahoo will lift its once-mighty mapping API above its head and bang the fiddle repeatedly into the stage like Pete Townshend. The remnants, barely held together with strings and the crumpled instrument neck, will then go in some dumpster in Sunnyvale. It’s okay, after all, because Nokia’s Ovi Maps API will be a fine replacement. It’s only the nostalgic, like me, who’ll have any problem with seeing the Yahoo name disappear.
When Amazon announced a public beta of its cloud computing infrastructure in 2006, it was the beginning of the new computing era in which you can consume and pay for computing resources per use. Today we have a lot of public clouds, however, when you build and deploy your application you are often bound to a single cloud provider through its proprietary API. DeltaCloud provides you with unified API across major cloud providers that you can use to manage your virtual machines in major clouds such as EC2 or Rackspace.
After nearly a year with two mapping platforms running in parallel, Google announced today that Google Maps V3 had graduated from Google Code Labs to become the primary maps API. Previously the newer version was recommended for mobile applications, the original reason behind the platform rewrite. With V3’s graduation, V2 becomes deprecated, but will continue to work for now.
This past week 21 new mashups were added to our mashup directory and 35 different APIs were used to build them. Some of the newer or less frequently seen APIs include Foursquare, IP Location, Mapstraction, Nextstop, ShareThis, ThisNext, TownMe Geo and TravelFusion. The most often used APIs this week are Flickr, Google Maps and Twitter. And the most commonly used types of APIs were Mapping (6 APIs, 11 mashups), Social (4 APIs, 11 mashups) and Internet (3 APIs, 3 mashups).
Google continues to expand its third version of the maps API to include features already in the second version. Most recently, they’ve added driving directions, which gives programmatic access to the routing data between two points. As with the rest of Maps V3, which was released in May, the team took a fresh approach, so some interfaces have changed.