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Google Maps JavaScript API Cookbook Paperback – 26 Dec 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (26 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849698821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849698825
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Alper Dincer

Alper Dincer is a civil engineer with an MS degree in Geographical Sciences. He has more than 10 years of experience in developing web and mobile GIS/LBS projects.

Since the beginning of his career, he was always passionate about maps and geo stuff. He started working as a research assistant at a university and then moved to a governmental agency to work with maps. He is also the co-founder of a tech company named Mekansal.

He also has some achievements relating to geo web projects. In 2009, he got the first place in the ESRI Developer Summit Mashup Challenge with his open source project ExtMap. ExtMap was based on the Google Maps JavaScript API v2. He is one of the Google Qualified Developers of the Google Maps JavaScript API program. In 2010, he also worked as a proctor in the same program as a volunteer.

As a developer and entrepreneur, he still likes coding with JavaScript, PHP, and Objective-C on different web and mobile projects. He completely agrees with Steve Jobs' quotes "Love what you do" and "Stay hungry, stay foolish".



Balkan Uraz

Balkan Uraz is a city planner with an MS degree in Geographical Sciences. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Throughout his career, he has worked on several projects with one thing in common: GIS. In the early days of his career, he worked on projects involving municipal GIS and city information systems. He has also worked as a research assistant while he was conducting the tedious work on his thesis on routing systems.

He has worked on major LBS projects for mobile operators in Turkey that involve both software development and building the data inventory. He co-founded a tech company that specialized in navigation data collection and navigation products. He has also been a GIS consultant for major companies operating in the areas of field tracking and real estate.

In all his projects, he has worked around the same passion: building up the spatial infrastructure.


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Format: Paperback
For a recent website project I was working on, I needed to implement maps. With Google Maps as my first choice, I began to search for some specific examples. While Google has a nice API reference, the examples they provide are not that obvious. Than I came across this book that provided the information I needed.

The beginning of this book can seem a bit overloaded: the table of contents is extensive and the first examples are overly explained. However, once you get to situation that is *not-so-often* described, you will be thankful for the detailed overview. For example, I enjoyed reading about how to add custom tiles as layers; how to work with GeoJSON; add custom controls; and combine maps with other Google Services. There are topics in addition to these other developers can find useful as this book is loaded with lots of recipes and examples. The only thing missing was a more extensive explanation on how to debug problems, but there are a lots of books out there on this particular topic.

Although the highly technicians authors have a lot of experience in mapping and geodesic fields, the book is an easy and pleasant read. Every example has one or more screenshots of what readers can expect; extensive explanations of what should be done; and the *How it works* section, which I enjoy the most. The book is useable for both newbies and more professional developers with its short explanations on HTML and Java Script for the former and some heavy mapping recipes for the latter.

I definitely enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it for others.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8bfc2ca8) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bd0a840) out of 5 stars Great go-to guide of the current version of Google Maps API 12 Mar. 2014
By Fernando Doglio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Disclosure: I was asked by the publisher to review this book.

The book

“Google Maps JavaScript API Cookbook” is relatively a short book, it’s full of, like the name of the book suggests, recipes to work with the Google Maps API.
Both authors, Alper Dincer and Balkan Uraz share a MS degree in Geographical Sciences and have over 10 years of experience working on Geographic Information Systems. So it’s safe to say they know their GIS. That being said, this is a programming cookbook, so the quality of the recipes is not assured.

The bad

Let’s first start with the bad, or the not-so-good to be honest.
Like I said before, the book’s authors are experts when it comes to Geographical Systems, and have worked in several Geo related projects over the last 10 years, but it shows that they are not experienced programmers.
The recipes do their work, don’t get me wrong, but their code is not the best, they just don’t follow regular best practices.

The entire book could’ve been thought out to end up developing a small framework to work with Google Maps API. Instead, the recepies’ code are only related to that recepie’s task instead. Leaving the reader with a bunch of individual examples and a lot of repeated code.

The other programming related issue I had with this book, was that the authors kept talking about creating classes. If you’ve used JavaScript for a while, you’d know that that’s not entirely right, actually, it’s pretty misleading to the less versed developer. I know this isn’t a JavaScript-heavy book or anything like that, but they could’ve at least bothered to get the names right.

The good

Yeap, that’s right, that’s about all that really “bothered” me from the book. To be honest, this book is a really useful reference manual.
It’s quite easy to read, each example is easily understood and very well explained. You’ll probably find yourself coming back to it, just to quickly check how something was done.

Call me skeptic, but I had my doubts about the cookbook format of it. I was afraid that the lack of technical depth about the Google Maps API would hurt and hinder my learning. On the contrary, this gave me a super quick, yet complete, overview of what I could possibly accomplish with this powerful API.

I had already done some easy and mid-level stuff with the API but by the end of the book, I had learned how to fully customize the map, load external data and use the services provided by the API.

Would I recommend it?

Yes I would, if you’re just starting, get the book and learn all you can eventually accomplish with it. If you’ve already worked with the API, get it anyways, you’ll end up learning a few tricks on the way.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bd0ac48) out of 5 stars Good introduction to the Google Maps JavaScript API in its current incarnation. 9 Feb. 2014
By Richard Marsden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
(Full disclosure: I was asked to review the e-book edition of this book by Packt)

This book follows the familiar Packt Cookbook pattern of dividing each recipe into sub-sections of
Introduction, Getting Ready, How to do it, How it works, There's more, and See also. This pattern has worked well
in the past, and works especially well here. The recipe's concept is introduced, the code is provided, it is then
explained before finishing with potential expansions, caveats, and further reading. In common with most
Packt Cookbooks, the first chapters are relatively simple and are used as a basis for later chapters and concepts.

The chapters are:

Google Maps JavaScript API Basics
Adding Raster Layers
Adding Vector Layers
Working with Controls
Understanding Google Maps JavaScript API Events
Google Maps JavaScript Libraries
Working with Services
Mastering the Google Maps JavaScript API through Advanced Recipes

Note that many of these recipes do not rely on built-in API functionality. For example, a simple WKT parser is introduced in order to plot WKT data.

There are some quibbles with small parts of the text. Some of these are pretty trivial. For example, no mention is
made that Google Maps does not support all of the KML standard. This is a common assumption and is wrong:
Google Earth is the only application that supports all of the KML standard. As I say this is fairly trivial.

A more significant omission concerns map projections. Google uses a Mercator projection based on a spherical
Earth model. No mention is made of the spherical Earth model although it might pose problems when plotting
GPS-derived data (which is typically WGS84). The area-distorting properties of the Mercator projection are mentioned,
but no mention is made of why this is bad for many map applications. Basically the distortions make the Mercator
projection unsuitable for regional and global geo-statistical maps (including the global earthquake example given
in the book). Such applications should use an equal area projection such as the Mollweide or Cylindrical Equal Area
projections. The online mapping revolution of the past decade has made it very easy to make high quality maps
with services such as Google Maps or Bing Maps. Unfortunately it also makes it easier to make accidental mistakes
of this kind.

Some reviews have noted that the bulk of the information in this book can be found in the official documentation.
To an extent this is true, however the documentation tends to only have a limited set of working examples and the rest is in the form of reference material. This book provides a good set of working examples that cover a wider range of functionality,
including a number of advanced topics and customizations. As such, a beginner or intermediate user of the
Google Maps JavaScript API will find this book to be a useful companion to the official reference
documentation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bd0acc0) out of 5 stars An excellent Cookbook with Great Recipes 4 May 2014
By VitoshAcademy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
[Disclosure - I have a blog, reviewing books and I write reviews there - [...] I have also written three articles, concerning some of the code in the book there.
I was not asked by the authors or anyone to review the book, I just needed a book, concerning Google Maps API and this one was quite a good match. At lеast prior to reading the book I had almost no experience with Java Script]

What this book has to offer to a reader who has almost NO experience with Java Script (like me, for example)? Actually, pretty much EVERYTHING you need to know. It starts with the ABC of Java Script and Google API, giving you one really simple example, how to build a map. In the next examples, everything build upon this first example is explained in huge details. Sometimes, I think that the authors go to much into details, but this is probably a good thing! :)

What I liked - the book is really a "CookBook" - you do not need to read it page by page, chapter by chapter, but you can simply read the first chapter and the introduction and then you may go to any page, to any recipe and use it as a pro :) This is really a big plus for beginners, who do not have full 3 days to read it properly and test the code in it.

What you should do after buying the book - the examples are quite well built, but they will not function on your pc immediately - that is because the google api code, which has some limitations. Thus you should go and make your own account at code.google.com and change the code from the book at that place. Fortunately, the procedure is well described.

What is inside? Pretty much anything a beginner in Google API & Java Script would dream about. The table of contents is really well composed for beginners.

So, my last word is the following - if you are a beginner in either Java Script or Google API - go for the book, it is suited for you! No specific pre-knowledge is required, indeed (probably, just some really basic knowledge in programming)! If you are wondering whether this book is for you, you may go to the book's website and browse the examples, which are generously provided there - at the site of the book, go to the support tab and click "Download Now". Then the code is fully at your disposal!

Thank you for reading the review! I hope you have enjoyed it!

Regards,
vitoshacademy.com
HASH(0x8bd1a06c) out of 5 stars While the concept of a cook book is appealing, ... 16 Jun. 2015
By Ralph Varney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While the concept of a cook book is appealing, the code (provided from Packt) does not work as the book suggests. Using the default sample, changing only the API key gives a map... but not the one shown in the book which states. You will see a map with navigation controls at
the top-left corner and the base map control at the top-right corner. There is no navigation controls or map control buttons.. And as the author assumes it should be.. no suggestions on what is wrong when it is not.
As I can not resolve the first issue I can not comment on the usefulness of the rest of the book.. which despite the catchy tittle may have been a mistake.
HASH(0x8bd1a1a4) out of 5 stars Many samples of practical uses of the Google Maps Javascript API 7 Feb. 2014
By M. Novak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As maps and geo location getting very important these days I reviewed this book.

The book provides with common scenarios and samples/code for these scenarios.
Very easy to take these samples and use them in your project.
The structure is good because as it starts from simple application and adding more complexity while reading further in the book.

Google's documentation is very good, so this book is not a must.
It doesn't add more information than you could find in the documentation, what it does it bring you live samples of common scenarios.
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