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Map Scripting 101: An Example-Driven Guide to Building Interactive Maps with Bing, Yahoo!, and Google Maps Paperback – 25 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (25 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272715
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 845,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Adam DuVander writes about geolocation, web development, and APIs for Programmable Web and WebMonkey,'s web developer resource. He has presented his work at SXSW and O'Reilly's Where 2.0 conference. He lives at 45° 33' 25" N, 122° 31' 55" W (otherwise known as Portland, Oregon).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emmster TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...that this book is built around the opensource Mapstraction project: an abstraction layer that encapsulates multiple heterogeneous mapping service providers - Google, Yahoo and Microsoft-Bing being the three biggies. This is NOT a Google/Bing/Yahoo mapping reference tome.

I can see this being a point of contention with some people just wanting an introductory Google/Yahoo/Bing maps guide who read no further than the book's title and then buy, only to do a massive "wtf?" when they start reading. In defence of the book - it is clearly states in the "Product Description" that Mapstraction will be used - anyone complaining should probably consider being a bit more thorough in their research. Having said that, having "Mapstraction" somewhere in the title could equally have helped.

So, to the book. The style is conversational and, in my opinion, engaging. The initial chaper is a whistle-stop tour of map service providers, plotting coordinates and the obligatory "Hello World" in map format - all good stuff, and nice to actually have a map up and running within a few pages. Mapstraction is introduced and the ability to quickly switch mapping providers is highlighted. By the close, we're playing with map controls and centering.

This leads me to my most valuable gem of information for you - get the code samples from the website, don't type them in from the book. I found at least one typographical error and then ran into (what I think was) a version mismatch between code in the book and the Mapstraction library that I downloaded from the website. This book was published in the dim and distant 2010: that's about 10 years in opensource/perpetual-beta land.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vicchi on 15 July 2011
Format: Paperback
We live in a world where rich and varied software and APIs are freely available on the internet, free to download and free to use. But as it is in the commercial world of software, so it is in the open source and free world of software; however great the product, the documentation ... lacks something.

There's a reason why, 8 years after publication and multiple editions later, David Pogue's "Mac OS X; The Missing Manual" is still one of the most used and most well thumbed books I have ... and that's because it allows me to use my operating system of choice far more effectively than reading the online documentation and searching the various newgroups and online resources.

As it is with OS X, so it is with Mapstraction and Adam DuVander's Map Scripting 101 well warrants the unwritten subtitle of "Mapstraction: The Missing Manual" (we'll gloss over the trademark and legal ramifications of why that can't happen here).

As I'm a contributor of code to Mapstraction my opinion may be considered not without some bias, but if it wasn't for Adam's book allowing me to understand how rich the Mapstraction API is and how it should work, I would never have been able to write the code that I contributed to the project.

The book assumes little technical know how beyond having the ability to edit files and to upload them to a web server. Beyond that, all that is required of the reader is the desire to use maps on a web page. Even if you know no JavaScript a helpful primer in this scripting language is included in the book.

Adam writes from a position of knowledge and passion but at no point is the reader left feeling they're being patronised or spoken down to; often a problem with some technical books.

If you want to put maps on your web site, buy this book. If you want to know how online maps work, buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Fowler on 1 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a great introduction to get you up and running with JavaScript mapping but it covers loads more besides including consuming geographic data services and how you can serve up your own geographic data from a web application. There are a surprisingly wide variety of different scenarios in the book's examples but the concepts and techniques illustrated really open the door for the savvy developer to take their own map applications a lot further.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Helpful to understand general concept...flawed code 23 Dec. 2010
By Seus - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've gone over different aspects of this book a few times now, and was really looking forward to it showing a few things with ease, that I was looking to complete for a site I'm working on. Needless to say, I'm rather disappointed with the code issues within the book. I've compared the code in the book itself to the code on both the books website and the code on the Mapstraction website, and it varies much from both. So much so that it doesn't even work correctly...I believe that it's partially due to the lack of clarity on the Mapstraction website. The book does excel in describing techniques used for map scripting without a reliance on any one particular service, but after the issues described above, I feel that sticking to one service (such as google maps) would make your life a lot easier.

- Good read for basic concepts
- Easy to read and understand

- Flawed code and examples
- Book site code doesn't always match books code
(site code appears to be outdated! How this is possible I don't know)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Timely, practical and fun 26 Aug. 2010
By Charlie Loyd - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book couldn't have come at a better time: everything to do with mapping and location awareness is just hitting the mainstream, from NASA cartography to geotagged tweets. If you want practical tools for putting this enormous flood of data to use on the web, this is by far the best starting point, and an excellent reference guide to boot.

Honestly, when I first opened it, I wasn't that interested. I'm a web guy with a chronic interest in mapping, and I figured anything with "101" in the title was beneath me. But after a few chapters to bring beginners up to speed, it was introducing stuff I'd never thought of, and by the end there are ideas that you could easily turn into the basis for a major site. That's pretty amazing for a book that assumes no previous knowledge of the topic.

(In fact, now that I think about it, if someone told me they didn't know where to get started with web development, I would point them to this book among others. The practical projects would make it much more rewarding than the usual "now let's turn the <div> blue"-type JavaScript guides.)

It's also just plain fun to read. DuVander's writing style is warm and engaging without talking down to the reader, and most of the example projects are interesting in themselves, even if you're only using them as exercises.

If you want to work with maps on the web, this is easily the best all-around resource.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Painless, nay, *enjoyable* guide to building online maps 20 Aug. 2010
By Jon C. McNeill - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know enough about the web to not call it the "Internets," but beyond that I know next to nothing about programming, coding, Java... the list goes on. I began reading this book after struggling to set up my first website and I think that DuVander has done something that I didn't know was possible: he's created an approachable guide to creating complex online maps for readers of any experience level--even me.

The hardest thing for someone like me to do was crack open the book. Once I had, the author captured me with his conversational style. He's written Map Scripting 101 almost like a workbook: you learn through doing something small, then adding a bit more to it, and a bit more... and before long, you have mastered something surprising in its complexity. And maybe most surprising at all: none of it was the least bit painful.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for beginners and more advanced programmers 30 Aug. 2010
By T. Ching - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very accessible and useful to beginners and advanced programmers looking to incorporate useful maps into their sites. It is easy to follow with clear examples. The author writes authoritatively on the topic but in a simple, approachable style. He is able to maintain that approach with the more advanced map projects. If you are looking to build interactive maps for your site, this book is not only required reading, it is also a pleasure to read.

I have read several books on web development over the past few years. This is the first one I actually enjoyed reading. In so many books (even the ones written for beginners), it's easy to get lost. This is the first one I did not throw across the room in frustration.

The companion site is a nice, convenient supplement to the book. And I wish I had the JavaScript quick start guide when I was starting to learn it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Maps 101 to 401 12 Oct. 2010
By John Jacobson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Maps are endlessly fascinating. They provide a sense of potential, pushing new horizons, extending old frontiers, as well as helping one find the nearest Starbucks. This book provides a great introduction to the art of accessing maps from a web site. And more than accessing them, customizing them for any number of uses.

While this book is listed as a 101 book, it contains techniques that go well beyond a newbie's interest. The warm, clear and engaging prose from the author invites one to dig in. What you may have thought was over your head turns out to be doable with the right tools.

It has many examples, and contains keys to using maps from Bing, Google, and Yahoo. It is rich with examples of map usage from each of these sources. As the title suggests, the key to using maps is understanding how to write a script that optimizes a particular map for your needs. There is even an appendix that provides an introduction to JavaScript, the main scripting language used on the web and the language used in the example scripts.

If you have an interest in adding any type of location information to a web site, this book is a must have. If you would just like to know how to do it, this book will guide you to answers, and might even hook you into writing code for your own site. Highly Recommended!
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