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Customer Review

on 18 February 2009
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. here's an empty info window, here we filled in some data in the info window, here we closed the info window and the form was not saved - now where's the sense in that? two pages just to show a non-functional info window?)
I know I tend to be very critical in my reviews, and I often lift up only the negatives, but I certainly do not mean to say don't buy this product. I gave it a 4-star rating and I believe it's just what the book deserves. It's good. It helped me a lot. And I do not regret making my purchase.
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