Maps.google.com beta · Curiosity is bliss

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Julien Couvreur's programming blog and more

Maps.google.com beta

 

This is going to be all over the blogosphere soon: http://maps.google.com (via David Lemson).

The UI is pretty impressive: it's really responsive, you can drag and drop the map around to scroll and it has very little clipping when you move beyond the area that is already loaded (the image blocks load really quickly).
At first I thought it involved some Flash (like Redfin), but after installing flashblock (Firefox extension) it doesn't seem so.
I look forward to somebody deconstructing some of that javascript magic that has become Google's touch.

I haven't tried their route finding yet. It'll be difficult to beat the cool MSN Maps Linedrive route drawing technology in my heart though.

Update (2005/02/08): I like that the address search form only has one field, you don't need to tab to enter the city, state or zip code. Very convenient (and long overdue).
I'm still not sure if there is any Flash used, since there is an alpha-blended drop shadow on a information bubble, which works both in IE and Firefox. I'll dig some more using LiveHTTPHeaders later today.
Simon points out another javascript-based map renderer (map.search.ch), that I'd seen before but forgotten. Their engine is even able to render zooming effects, albeit with a lot of pixelization.

Update (2005/02/09): Here's a first dissection of the service (via).

Update (2005/03/11): A number of cool hacks have appeared, like bookmarklets to animate the map/route. But the most impressive so far is the Standalone GMaps: be sure to check out the custom plotting of data demo of the latest 911 incidents in Seattle.

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I agree with the 'single input' thingy.

maps.msn.com
Click on 'paste your address' :)

Posted by: KiniK (February 8, 2005 09:54 AM) ______________________________________

The drop-shadows are implemented using alpha-blended PNGs, which are supported in IE with a custom CSS extension that can be implemented using a behavior.

Posted by: Richard Tallent (February 8, 2005 04:25 PM)
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