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    Default More cool web tricks

    A while back, I <a href="">posted</a> about <a href="">planiglobe</a>, a site which allows you to generate maps you can use legally on your own website.

    Recently I've been playing around with <a href="">Google Maps API</a>, which lets you add interactive maps to your website.

    You can do all kinds of cool stuff with this, especially if you have a set of points gathered from a GPS receiver during a trip. Rather than trying to describe it all, I'll let you play around with my <a href="">example</a>. Be sure to zoom in close on my route; you can see the route right down to the individual streets I took--including a few wrong turns, if you look in the right places.

    Although Google Maps API can do a lot of neat things that planiglobe can't, it also has some limitations which are not present for planiglobe. Here's my summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each, at least from what I've observed.
    <table border=1><tr><td><b>Planiglobe</b></td>
    <td><b>Google Maps API</b></td></tr>
    <tr><td>No account required</td>
    <td>Free Google account required</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Requires lat./long. for points</td>
    <td>Requires lat./long. for points</td></tr>
    <tr><td>No scripting knowledge required</td>
    <td>Some scripting required (can be divined to some extent from <a href="">examples</a>) </td></tr>
    <tr><td>Produces static image for use in web pages</td>
    <td>Produces interactive map for use in web pages (zoom in, zoom out, scroll) </td></tr>
    <tr><td>Static image visible in all browsers (except text-only browsers) </td>
    <td>Interactive map may not work in some browsers</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Static images can be uploaded to many web spaces</td>
    <td>Some web spaces do not allow scripts</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Maps only</td>
    <td>Maps, satellite images, or "hybrid" (satellite images with labelled features) </td></tr>
    <tr><td>Major roads only</td>
    <td>Street-level detail at sufficient zoom level</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Fixed image size</td>
    <td>User-defined map size</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Accurate routes require quite a few points, but the number required for reasonable accuracy is somewhat limited since image is static. </td>
    <td>Accurate routes require many many points due to variable zoom level; fine for a data dump from a GPS receiver, but not something to do by hand. </td></tr>
    <tr><td>Handles routes with >1000 points with no problem</td>
    <td>Handles routes with >1000 points with no problem</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Very broad <a href="">license</a> for use</td>
    <td>Broad <a href="">license</a> for use, but not as broad as planiglobe's</td></tr></table>
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-29-2005 at 12:09 AM.

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