Google Cloud Based Platform Introduces New Features for Customizing Google Maps

Google Maps Platform Introduces New Features

Google has introduced several new features for customizing Google Maps. It will now be even easier to adapt them to a wide variety of business needs and apply custom map settings to different sites and applications.

    Map Customization, Style Support & Cloud Management

    Google introduces cloud-based support for Google Maps styles. This will allow you to create, customize and manage map styles using the Google Cloud Console. This innovation has three important benefits: an improved customization process, simplified management, and faster implementation of test versions and new features.

    google map new features
    Source: www.cloud.google.com/blog/products

    The move to cloud management increases the number of possible map customization to 250, and they work in most browsers. When styles are stored on a server, it is easy to manage them even across multiple platforms. One design can be applied to an unlimited number of cards, changing the style at once for several applications and sites.


    Thanks to the cloud-based support for Google Maps styles, anyone on your team can update maps, including non-coding people.


    All new features are released in beta mode. In the coming weeks, they will appear for all Google Maps Platform customers, both for those who has been using the service for a long time and for new users? When the features become available, you will see two new tabs in the Google Maps Platform section of the Cloud Console: Map Management and Map Styles.


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    Features of Vector Maps

    The developers have added vector maps to the JavaScript API. Unlike raster-based maps, vector maps are processed on users' devices. Responsible for rendering is the WebGL web technology, which uses the resources of the video card on the device. In this way, map fragments are rendered smoother and appear sharper when panning and zooming.


    Along with support for JavaScript, Android, and iOS vector maps, Google introduced marker conflict management for all three platforms. With this feature, developers can determine which markers will receive priority and overlap some of the information in the base map. Markers no longer clash with each other or compete with surrounding markers and other information. This allows much more information to be placed on the map, such as adding more objects and specifying new landmarks. At the same time, the map will not look overloaded.


    Control Over Objects

    The Google Maps Platform provides information on approximately 200 million companies and places around the world. Before the update, all companies were grouped into one large category - "Organizations". There will be a filtering function for business objects and five subcategories: housing, shopping, food and drink, gas station, and car rental. Previously, you could choose from only two options: show all companies on the map or not show them at all. Now you can decide which types of companies will be displayed.


    Besides, the ability to limit the number of displayed locations will be added so that users can speed up the selection process. For example, a map on a hotel website can be configured to show a maximum of 12 locations: restaurants, attractions, nightclubs, and shops.


    You can change the appearance of the map to match the style of the site and your brand. This can be done using a variety of options, from the color of markers and icons to the position of key elements of the user interface.


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    Local Context: More Information About Nearby Objects

    local context features

    The new beta version of the Local Context feature will also help educate users about places of interest near your organization. On the built-in Google Map, users can not only see nearby attractions and restaurants but also view user reviews, photos and prices, as well as build their own route. This will make it more convenient for users to interact with the card and make decisions, for example, about choosing a hotel, which ultimately can affect an increase in conversion.

    The Local Context function can be added to an existing map while retaining its design and other customized features. Local Context can be implemented with a few lines of code in just a couple of days. It will independently maintain up-to-date information about the selected objects on the Google map.

     During beta testing, the Local Context feature will be available for free in the Maps JavaScript API library. A beta version of the Local Context feature will soon be available for Android and iOS apps.

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