Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
Yahoo! Maps has relaunched, and it looks a lot like Google Maps.
The interesting decision is that they opted to use Flash, and Flex on the backend.
This will probably add more to the “Flash vs. Ajax vs. Flash is part of Ajax” debate :)
Some people are saying “they handle the back button, which Ajax can’t do” which is of course a myth.
Definitely some nice work, but if you are Google (and map.search.ch), you have to be pretty flattered that your app has been copied yet again, with just a few tweaks here and there.
Simon Willison of Yahoo! has written a nice blog entry that discusses the new APIs that Yahoo! has released for the new maps application.
This is obviously important, as the mashup side of Google Maps exploded.
It is also great that there are both Ajax and Flash APIs.
for embedding maps in your Flash applications. When you think about the
number of talented Flash developers out there for whom an Ajax toolkit
is of little interest, the potential for innovation here is enormous.
Not to mention that custom vector overlays of map information are far
for embedding Flash maps within normal pages and driving them from
in to the page from this API just by providing the URL of a SWF file,
which should allow ActionScript programmers to achieve virtually
anything they can imagine.
- Flex API,
for adding maps to Flex applications. I’m don’t know too much about
Flex (which is billed by Macromedia as an “enterprise” development
tool), but the syntax example is pretty compelling:
<yahoo:YahooMap id="myMap" width="550" height="400" zoomLevel="3" latitude="37.77159" longitude="-122.401714" />
The new Y! api is much better (than the old Y! api). It offers integrated geocoding and the ability to request a map image only. This worked perfect for our needs. What took 30+ lines to do in Google Maps we were able to do in less than 10. It also meant only one webservice call vs. two for Goggle(geocode + display map). To top it off the Y! api requires a static app id rather than the domain locked api keys that the Google api uses. This makes a huge difference for Zimbra since our server will be deployed with many different domains.
Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:31 pm