Does your website need maps and driving directions?

Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live have free map services that you can use today.  Basic HTML skills are the only requirement to put a simple map on your site.


If you have complex map requirements with multiple stores, logos, custom information or constantly changing locations, you will want to consider using Microsoft Live, Yahoo or Google’s API to create your maps dynamically.  With API’s you can combine your MySQL or MS SQL database with powerful web search engine mapping applications.

Custom Maps Using Google Map API

American Grass Fed Beef needed a way to let their customers know where to find their grass fed beef in their local areas. They wanted to show the addresses, links to websites, the well known store/restaurant logos plus driving directions.


API Coders designed a custom web form for American Grass Fed Beef to conveniently enter store and restaurant information. The Google Map API was programmed to feed real time locations from a Microsoft SQL database.
Click here to see our API Coder custom map in action.

What is a Map API?

Map API is defined as a Map Application Programming Interface.  Microsoft, Yahoo and Google use their developers to build complex applications such as their mapping systems.  They provide Developer’s Guides which programmers use as a roadmap to code web applications.


Another common term that you will hear often is map mashup. Map mashups are web applications that combine information from more than one source into a single map. 


For example, realtors throughout the world often feed their real estate listings and pictures via Google’s Base API.  The final app of all these listings is a map mashup.  Click here to see a live Google real estate map mashup example


What Are Map Api’s Used For?

Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking of the possibilities:

  • Map multiple offices, stores, hotels, restaurants, and real estate listings complete with your custom logos, pictures, hours of operation and descriptions
  • Automatically update map locations from real time corporate MySQL and Microsoft SQL databases.
  • Map and show distances of bike routes, walking tours, hiking paths and even scavenger hunts.
  • Display photos/videos from websites like YouTube, Picasa or Flickr on map points. For example indicate the exact spot on a map where your video or pictures were taken.
  • Embed Google Maps in web applications
  • Allow your website visitors to journal their walking and jogging routes on maps.
  • Mashup Google Maps with time zones, weather, flood zones, sales territories, transit systems, crime reports, product availability or real estate trends. Your imagination is the only limit. 
Custom Travel Site Map Mashup

Amore Travel Guides needed a way to map thousands of Italy sites, stores, hotels and restaurants. This social networking travel site is constantly adding more locations so they needed to dynamically generate maps.

API Coders used the Google Map API to feed locations from their MySQL database and marked each destination with their Amore logo. 


Are there any restrictions for using the Google Map API Service?

 Yes. There are a few things that you can’t do:

  • Your website can’t make more than 15,000 geocode requests per day
  • You have to leave Google’s branding on your maps and never imply that your content is endorsed by Google.
  • You can’t use the maps for illegal activities or adult content
  • Google Maps should only be be used on public websites

Google’s terms of service are clearly specified and are easy to read to make sure your requirements aren’t restricted by Google.


What does Google charge you for using their MAP API?

Amazingly the online map api service is free. If your corporate needs are more complex or exceed 15,000 geocode requests per day, you need to contact Google Sales concerning their Enterprise product.


However, for the average website, you have the benefit of Google’s code, map data and innovations for free. A few years ago, these mapping resources would have cost you thousands per year for multiple map locations.  Now small websites can afford sophisticated maps on their websites.


Are There Any Downsides To Using Map API’s for My Project?

Yes. Google can change their code and requirements at any time. At the moment there are very few downsides though.


How Do I Get Started With My Map API Project?

 API Coders are experts at customizing API’s for websites. Tell us what you need and before you know it, you will have impressive maps on your website that makes even a small corporation look impressive.


Contact API Coders today for a price quote today.