Google Maps API Version 3 Primer

I number of people have asked me what is the difference between Version  2 and Version 3 of Google Maps API is.

Well for starters this is what Google says:

The primary motivation behind this new version was speed, especially for rendering maps on mobile browsers. Last year, several of us starting thinking about the possibility of getting the JavaScript Maps API to work on mobile devices. With the advent of powerful, fully functional browsers on devices such as the iPhone and the Android-based G1, why couldn’t we bring the flexibility and reach of modern web development to people who wanted to write maps mashups for mobile phones? While we’ve been able to get the existing v2 API working on mobile browsers, we found we were constrained when trying to reduce latency and we needed a new approach. And thus was born the idea for the next revision of the Maps API.

Aside from speed improvements, there has been a lot of work done to integrate mobile browsers (Phone Safari mobile and Chrome) and move to a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. Why is this you ask?. Well, it is in recognition that the simple Desktop Browser is no longer the only option for displaying (rendering) output. The key idea is extraction of the execution components from the viewer (viewport), the controller (input management) and model (the process).

Basically this is the preparatory work for a host of new applications and services for the mobile world.

However, please note that Version 2 has not disappear. You can still use that version to test and develop on.

  1. Read the Developer’s Guide.
  2. Follow the V3 Tutorial.
  3. Consult the V3 Reference.

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