Customizing Google Maps Part IV - Part Du
In the last Google Maps article we looked at customizing the API and adding our own data through a KML file. Now let’s take a look at doing something a bit more interesting, this time using our choice of web mapping API’s. We’ll do this by using OpenLayers.
What is OpenLayers? From the web site:
What kind of sources can it use for maps? A bunch. You can use a number of free mapping API’s, such as Google Maps, Virtual Earth, Yahoo Maps, WorldWind, and MultiMap. You can also add geoRSS feeds, GML, and KML. You can also add WMS and WFS services. You can also create your own markers with popup boxes on-the-fly ala Google Maps. You can also draw vectors (point, path, polygon) on the map.
With OpenLayers you can very easily combine Google Maps base maps with your own WMS and WFS data streams, making the best of all worlds and keeping you from having to replicate your data as KML or geoRSS. You can also choose from a whole selection of other base maps, or use nothing but your own data sets.
OpenLayers is much more than a way to combine Google Maps with your own data, but I thought it fit this niche fairly well. I like OpenLayers so much I’m going to be using it in my next couple of projects. I highly recommend it for any type of web mapping project you’re up to, but particularly so if you are working with Google Maps and need to add your own data sets.