Mobile

Google Maps

Google MapsI have been using Google Maps for several years now – because well, I have always said “I’m geographically challenged”. I like that Google Maps is also on my smartphone (android) so even if I’m out walking around I can find my way around. If you haven’t already downloaded the Google Map Navigation App to your smartphone, you should.

A couple of years ago I started teaching my clients about Google Maps as a way to get listed on-line for free. Businesses can upload images, add their store hours and list their services through Google Places . What many of them didn’t know is that when people use Google search on their phone (which more people are doing now days) – Google will return results based on the location of the individual holding the phone – using the phone’s GPS. So, having a listing on Google Maps is very important for any business that wants customers to find them.

About 2 years ago, I started adding maps to business websites on the client’s ‘about us’ page and also added a link to their listing on Google Maps. But how I did that was just by simply adding a little piece of code provided by Google on the map page. It’s nice – It works. But I was stuck with what Google provided and didn’t really have much way to tweak the final results of how I wanted the map to appear. But learning jQuery has now changed that and I’m excited about the possibilities now available through programming!

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to start looking into learning jQuery so I ordered a book from my favorite on-line book store, Amazon.com, of course, and the book arrived a few days ago. (JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual)  I have read about 300 pages in a matter of a few days – quite frankly because I find this client-side scripting language interesting. During my studying, I have also reviewed numerous jQuery plugins. So, this evening I was reading about a plugin called ‘GoMap’ and got so interested in it that I sat down and start writing code for a couple of hours. I played around with the different settings and threw together a few examples. I will list the links below to the little projects I came up with in case you are a web designer / web developer and want to see if this is something that maybe your clients might be interested in.

One thing I learned in all of this was that I needed a quick way to find out the ‘longitude’ and ‘latitude’ of an address to get an accurate result for the maps. Here is a website dedicated just to that. Simply type in the address and it will convert it to the longitude/latitude settings. Go Here: http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html  So, if you’re a “geek like me” and want to see what I’ve been up to, check out the links below.

Roadmap with InfoBox on Marker

Roadmap Zoomed In

Hybrid View – MapType Change

Satellite View of Texas

Multiple Locations in Texas

Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think. If you have any links to a project you have done using this map plugin let me know. I would be interested in seeing what others have done with it. Happy Coding.

Conclusion: jQuery is Fun to play with. 🙂

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