Southeast Asian Developers: Enhance Your Maps!

Monday, February 23, 2009 | 9:15 AM

While preparing slides for our various DevFest Maps API talks in November, I had the sad realization that many of the maps features I took for granted in the US weren't available to developers in Southeast Asia - things as simple as road data or local businesses. After talking with DevFest developers, I was impressed that that they continued making compelling mashups (like SkyDoor) despite that limitation, and vowed that we'd do whatever we could to better support Southeast Asian developers. Well, good news: we've announced two launches this week that will make Maps API development easier.

MapMaker Tiles in the API

For the countries where we didn't have good road data from local providers, we created the Map Maker tool to let users contribute data. Once a country has enough data, we release the user contributed data on the default map tiles for everyone - and we did that for Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Phillipines this week. But now, you don't have to wait for that to happen to benefit from the data - you can just add special Map Maker map types to your mashup. For more information on how to do so, read this blog post on the Google Geo Developers Blog. Pan around the demo below to see what Manila looks like with these map types:

Local Search for Thailand & Malaysia

The Local Search API lets developers access local search from both JavaScript and non-JS environments, and the Google Bar in the Maps API lets developers enable local search on their mashups in just one line of code. Last week, we launched local search results for Malaysia and Thailand, so developers in those countries can now integrate local search results into their mashups. Try it out in the demo below by entering "auto repair" or "hotels" in the search box:

Enjoy the new features, and let us know in the comments about sites where you've enabled them!