The state of the web mapping APIs

Here is a good article from the slashdot site about The state of mapping APIs by Adam DuVander. An API (application programming interface) is basically a way of using code (most web mapping APIs are JavaScript based) to create functions that do things with a web map e.g. add an overlay of CCTV camera locations to a google map with the google maps API.

The article is a good overview of the web mapping APIs from the biggest (Google Maps API) to newcomers (Bing and CloudMade). Cloudmade’s offerings are really fantastic stuff with a number of options to create web mapping APIs using OpenStreetMap for many different platforms. In the UK of course there is also the OS OpenSpace web mapping API.

We’re now spoilt for choice with free web mapping APIs. But do you need control overthe base map data appearing on your mapping site? Perhaps you’ve got some aerial imagery you want to show to the world or a specific project with lots of GIS data. You’ll need to splash some cash e.g. use an ESRI web mapping solution with ArcGIS Server potentially. Or go Open-Source and be prepared to get techie, perhaps with GeoServer¬†with OpenLayers. What do you use? Why? Let us know.

navit cloudmade

Image is an example of Cloudmade’s NavIt

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