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Beginning Google Maps Applications with PHP and Ajax: From Novice to Professional [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Sambells , Michael Purvis , Cameron Turner
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Until recently, building interactive web-based mapping applications has been a cumbersome affair. This changed when Google released its powerful Maps API. Beginning Google Maps Applications with PHP and Ajax was written to help you take advantage of this technology in your own endeavorswhether you’re an enthusiast playing for fun or a professional building for profit. This book covers version 2 of the API, including Google’s new Geocoding service.

Authors Jeffrey Sambells, Cameron Turner, and Michael Purvis get rolling with examples that require hardly any code at all, but you’ll quickly become acquainted with many facets of the Maps API. They demonstrate powerful methods for simultaneously plotting large data sets, creating your own map overlays, and harvesting and geocoding sets of addresses. You’ll see how to set up alternative tile sets and where to access imagery to use for them. The authors even show you how to build your own geocoder from scratch, for those high-volume batch jobs.

As well as providing hands-on examples of real mapping projects, this book supplies a complete reference for the Maps API, along with the relevant aspects of JavaScript, CSS, PHP, and SQL. Visit the authors' website for additional tips and advice.

Product Description

About the Author

Mike Purvis is a Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. He maintains a weblog at and enjoys cooking, cycling, and playing with LEGO. He's worked on many web projects of various sizes and has a strong interest in independent standards and open source. Jeff Sambells is a Graphic Designer and self taught Web Application developer best known for his unique ability to merge the visual world of graphics with the mental realm of code. With a Bachelor of Technology degree in Graphic Communications Management and a minor in Multimedia, Jeffrey was originally trained for the paper and ink printing industry, but he soon realized the world of pixels and digital ink was were his ideas would prosper. In late 1999, he co-founded We-Create Inc. an internet software company based in Waterloo, Ontario, which began many long nights of challenging and creative innovation. Currently, as Director of Research and Development for We-Create, Jeffrey is responsible for investigating new and emerging internet technologies and integrating them using web standards compliant methods. He is described by his peers as both a natural programmer and an innovative thinker. Cameron Turner has been programming interactive games since his first computer in 1985; interactive web sites since 1994 and since 1999 has been one of the founders of We-Create Inc. He obtained his honours degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo Ontario, with specializations in applied cryptography, database design and computer security. As the Chief Technology Officer at We-Create Inc. Cam has been involved in all aspects of Internet software development, design and specification. More than a manager, Cam maintains an active ability to develop in all of the latest break-through technologies as well as an ability to easily translate tech-talk into lay-English for clients and their stakeholders.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5526 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (14 Aug. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001D4SE00
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,230,842 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 28 Aug. 2007
When I bought this book I'd not tackled any Ajax/PHP or serious Javascript and hadn't tried to use the Google Maps API, having said that I'm a reasonably competent programmer and I had a project to focus on. From that start this book has been excellent. It does a good job of explaining what can be done with the API and builds on humble beginnings to create more advanced mapping applications.

I can also highly recommend the authors website which provides additional information and downloads. I even emailed them with a question and received a detailed response within a day or two. Now that's quality.

So if you are thinking of writing a Google Maps application and you want a good launchpad this book is for you. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really helpful book 18 Feb. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As I am currently working on my final year project, which involves placing markers on a map given their GPS coords, I find this book very helpful. It starts off nice and smooth, covering the very basics - the Google Maps API concepts, simple Javascript and PHP scripts. I got through all I needed after reading the first 60 pages, which is absolutely fantastic!
However, it gets more and more complicated as you turn to pages 60+ and after the first hundred you're bound to lose track of things unless you are actually interested in "Optimizing and Scaling for Large Datasets".
I couldn't, really, couldn't give the book a full 5-star rating for numerous reasons:
*Throughout the text there are many weblinks refering to cool manuals and tutorials and god-knows-what on the Net, which is fine. But didn't I buy a paper copy (of material otherwise quite accessible on-line) just because I didn't want to read about everything on the Net?
*The title of the book - BEGINNING Google Maps Applications with PHP and Ajax - implies that this book will be rather for novices, slowly picking up more advanced topics and possibly include a chapter for professionals. Which it is not. I was quite upset by the fact that it's actually quite advanced from page 62 onwards. I am familiar with Ajax and PHP on a beginners level, and I hoped this book will fortify my knowledge of these technologies and fill in the gaps. Which is paritially did, but I couldn't say I was too satisfied.
*Some screenshots totally useless and a terrible waste of space. One gets the feeling that they were desperate to add a couple of pages to make the book thicker and sell for more bucks, when you look at several half-page snapshots of not much (e.g.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done 13 Sept. 2006
By pb - Published on
I am using this book to build a mapping application. I'm a beginning-intermediate web programmer and find the book well designed. There are nice sections on improving the user interfaces of map applications, updating maps with data queried from a database, and plenty of good examples (also posted on the book's website). It's a good all around case study in developing dynamic websites with JavaScript, custom controls, databases and PHP. There is a positive review on Slashdot as well.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely excellent roadmap to Google Maps API Integration 9 Nov. 2006
By Anthony B. Burnham - Published on
This book was an absolutely incredible guide to the nuances of the Google Maps API. It clearly goes from simple integration, to geocoding to more complex functions such as overlays etc. I found it absolutely invaluable for my project, and I'm sure you will too.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy 15 Jun. 2008
By Oguzhan Topsakal - Published on
If you are going to get one book to learn or improve your Google Maps skill, this is the book. This very well organized book introduces you the basics and then moves on some advance staff that you have to learn if you want to develop serious Google Maps application.
You can check out the table of content and sample chapters from its website.
I enjoyed reading it and therefore I highly recommend it for Google Map developers.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars missing code, examples not completely laid out 9 Dec. 2007
By C. Rees - Published on
I am a fairly inexperienced, self taught programmer. I bought the book partly due to the fact that it had "beginning" in the title.

The code that is used in the book is not laid out very well. There are parts of the code that they don't explain (such as what apikey.php is) until you go and find out on their website what it means.

They are also very inconsistent. Sometimes they used apikey.php and sometimes they didn't. Going through the examples they use the same file names for different examples so you don't know if you are suppose to use the old files from the previous examples or not.

Even after I got all of the files that I needed for the tile overlay example it failed on me. This is after spending 3 hours reconstructing the MySQL table (which I didn't care about) because that information wasn't provided with the tile overlay example. After doing all of that work and using their unmodified code (except to change my database logins and api key) the code didn't work. And it failed BEFORE it even got to the MySQL database which means all that work I spent was for naught.

The authors suggest that you can email them (and I did a couple times) and they will get back to you. Its been several months and I still haven't heard back from any of them. The questions were about problems using their unmodified code.

This book may be good if you have some experience with coding. But on the other hand if that is the case there really isn't any need to buy the book.
5.0 out of 5 stars From a Web Programing Instructors point of View 6 May 2008
By Jil MacMenamin - Published on
Wow and Kool are the first words that come to mind after reading just the Into and Chapter 1.

As a Web Programming Instructor, I am always searching for easy ways to get my students motivated. Page 2 of Chapter 1 shows an XML and XHTML strict - but the code is so straight forward - that you are not in the least intimidated with the strict XHTML. To find something students can relate to that gives a solid example of two abstract things - is great. There is nothing to be intimidated with, the explanations are clear and the web site - give corrections. Each chapter offers a lot fore each level user.

Chapter 1 is fun for a wide range of web skills: Web Development, Digital Photographers, Digital Imaging, and more advanced.

Chapter 2 - gives the JavaScript, XHTML developer's lots of detail on what is going on in the script. Each exercise builds on the previous one, until by the end of the chapter you have a robust program, you can use immediately.

Chapter 3 - adds user input, it begins the discussion of adding to a Database & Ajax. You have a dialog wit the authors of why they did what they did - it's insight to working with a database. The chapters keep getting richer and draw you in. You hate to put it down!

Appendix B has a generous 28 page summary of the important API commands, making learning Google Maps API easier.

I am adding this to my Reference Book list
and it will defiantly be a required reading for Advanced PHP classes.

Jil MacMenamin
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