[Cross posted from my CodeBetter.Com Blog]
Recently, I set about to add a map page to Jobs.CodeBetter.Com,
with markers so you can geographically explore the jobs posted over
there. As more jobs are posted to the site, this should be a good way to
sift through them all and find the one in your neck of the woods. You can try it out here.
I am totally blown away by the Google Maps API, the documentation, the
performance, and the overall development experience. This API to me
represents everything that is right with current Web UI tier development.
What about Virtual Earth and MapPoint Web Services?
A while back, I posted some code and highly
praised Microsoft's Map Point Web Service. Although my initial
experience with MapPoint was good, my enthusiasm with the application I
developed quickly evaporated. It was slow, clumsy and hard to
maintain. Much of the map panning and navigation controls had to be
written by hand... back then there were no out of the box controls to simply
add to the map. With MapPoint, I had to roll my own, which led to browser
inconsistencies, and various and sundry bugs that seem to accompany any big
licensing the MapPoint web service, we decided against it because of the
Many of these problems have been addressed with Virtual
Earth. It appears that you can get the same or better end-user
experience (here's a nice comparison of VirtualEarth
versus GoogleMaps from a users' perspective)... There's a nice Getting Started page here, and and Interactive SDK here.
not entirely convinced
that they've honed the developer experience to the point that Google
has. For one thing, it took me a half an hour to simply find licensing
and when I did, it came from a developer's blog (Chandu announced
a licensing model to allow sites to freely use the service.), not the
Virtual Earth site itself. To make things worse, you may find yourself thoroughly confused if you end up on the other Virtual Earth SDK
on the Microsoft site. To me this is typifies the difference between
doing things the Microsoft way (mired in marketing goo with complex
licensing and confusing documentation) versus the Google way (simple,
easy to understand and use).
11-01-2006 1:22 PM