Online Mapping with APIs

  • Michael P. Peterson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Bringing maps to users has been made much easier with the World Wide Web. Millions of maps now make their way through a world-wide network of computers. A major change occurred in 2005 in how those maps were delivered when Google Maps implemented a tile-based mapping system based on AJAX that facilitated interactive zooming and panning. The following year, an Application Programmer Interface (API) was released that gave programmers access to the underlying mapping functions. It was now possible to place data on top of the Google base map and make this map available to anyone. This system was created at tremendous expense. It is calculated that the number of tiles required at 20 zoom levels is nearly 1.5 trillion. At 15 KB per tile, this equates to 20 Petabytes or 20,480 TB and a data storage cost of between US $2 million and US $2 billion per data center. This expenditure indicates the level of importance that online companies place on maps. It also represents a shift in how maps of all kinds are delivered to users. Mobile devices are a further indication of this change in map delivery.


Mobile Phone Cell Phone Application Programmer Interface Online Mapping Mobile Phone Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Velag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography/GeologyUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA

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