Mapping your location with Google Static Maps API (tutorial)

The Google Static Maps API  (code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/staticmaps/) allows for a dead simple way to embed maps showing a specific location for mobile and desktop environments. The real advantage of the Google Static Maps API is that the embed comes in the form of an HTML image <img> tag. In this quick codelab tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a static map and set a location using the Google Static Maps API. If you have a familiarity with HTML, the markup for the image should be familiar.

<img src=”http://maps.google.com/maps/api/staticmap?center=Bozeman,MT&zoom=13&size=310×310&markers=color:blue|45.666671,-111.04859&mobile=true&sensor=false” />

As I mentioned earlier, it is a simple <img> tag with a call linking into the Google Static Maps API. In order to assign a specific location we need to pass a few parameters to the Google Static Maps API. Included among the customizations:

  1. A central location for the map
  2. A zoom level for the map
  3. A size for our map image
  4. A marker color and position using latitude and longitude
  5. Set the map to display for mobile settings without a sensor

The necessary pieces to enter are a central location and your specific latitude and longitude. Enter your hometown for the central location in the format of {city, state or principality}. To get your latitude and longitude, visit gmaps-samples-v3.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/geocoder/getlatlng.html and type in your library address. Copy the latitude and longitude values that are returned. Enter these position values as a comma separated string {latitude,longitude}.

Here’s the image src= markup with cues for where to add your values.

http://maps.google.com/maps/api/staticmap?center={YOURHOMETOWN}&zoom=13&size=310×310&markers=color:blue|{YOUR LATITUDE/LONGITUDE}&mobile=true&sensor=false

Once you have the link filled out add it to your image <img> tag on a live HTML page and you will have a local map to your library or any other specific location.

msu library bozeman mt


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