At least one of these situations probably sounds familiar:
- You have lost your way while navigating an unfamiliar city.
- That elusive coffee is waiting for you off some vague interstate exit, but you’re not sure which one.
- You are planning a trip and want to find the most efficient route to your destination.
Empowering Drivers With Internet Navigation Services
Drivers are no longer frustrated by unwieldy paper maps or losing time by driving around aimlessly. Navigation services and apps now guide you with your choice of a button click or a simple voice command.
The navigation app of choice for most users (by a wide margin) is Google™ Maps. It dominates in the arena of navigation apps, dwarfing other services in popularity by nearly a tenfold margin. Even iPhone users prefer Google™ Maps over the native Apple Maps service that comes pre-installed on their devices.
Empowering Web Developers With API
This impressive popularity has allowed Google™ to develop a robust API platform (Application Programming Interface) that offers many different types of solutions for a variety of organizations.
Not only has the Google™ Maps API helped tourists, but it also has helped us web developers build web applications for our clients. At LRS Web Solutions, we’ve been doing it for years, and we can apply this experience to meet your business needs.
People often choose the business or service that is most convenient and easiest to get to. It’s vital for your website or mobile app to include a user interface that can lead existing and potential customers to your products and services.
The Geocoding API
The Google™ Maps API offerings include a plethora of tools, but perhaps the most frequently used of these is the Geocoding API.
This service provides a direct way to convert an address into latitude and longitude coordinate values.
Reverse geocoding (converting latitude and longitude coordinates into a human-readable address) is also possible via the Google™ Maps Geocoding API. This is a baseline feature of the Google™ Maps API and the backbone of location-based web applications. The geocoding of a standard address is what can give a location an actual visual place on a map canvas. This feature is extremely flexible and can parse mistyped addresses and even partial addresses and still return a location with surprisingly high degrees of accuracy.
The Directions API:
Help Your Customers Find You
The Google™ Maps Directions API service calculates driving distances and renders both text and visual turn-by-turn directions between two points. Starting locations can be specified by user input or a geolocation service that returns the user’s location as latitude and longitude coordinate values. Geolocation is now supported by all contemporary web browsers and is most accurate when sourced by a device with GPS, such as a smartphone or tablet. Of course, the user must consent to your application using their location, but the prompt and handling of this is built into the web browser. Digging much deeper, it is also possible to render a point-to-point trip and display informational location pins within X distance from the route.
Showcase Your Expanded Business With Maps
Directories are useful for your customers to quickly and easily find your locations or services offered near them. For business owners who have two or more locations, this is essential. Just as with the Directions API, you have the flexibility to input a specific location or your location can be determined using geolocation services. Based on the specified location, a distance radius can be used to place a pin for each entity that is within specified mileage from the location.
Branding is an important piece of any multi-location directory. Styling the pins and the map to reflect your brand is a simple task that will help your users have a better experience using your website.
What Is Layering And How Do You Use It?
Layering can be applied to a map to enhance its functionality by identifying districts, regions, service areas or other areas of interest for your business. This can be achieved using KML layers that are essentially image layers referenced in your map as a file. Alternatively, a better way of accomplishing this is using GeoJson feature collections to generate a polygon overlay.
Layers are a great way to organize groups of locations or to indicate a geographical outreach from a specific point location on a map.
Let’s say your business has several locations that service surrounding municipalities or counties. That’s easy to convey on a map using layers. Or, imagine you have a set of districts or regions that each contain a number of specified locations that are tied to those areas. The use of map layers to designate and distinctly display various areas on a map is not only extremely useful but is aesthetically pleasing as well.
The Bottom Line:
Choose Google™ Maps API
Whether your application needs to organize hundreds of locations or just a handful, the LRS Web Development team recommends using the Google™ Maps API over any other map service APIs for its vast array of abilities and features.
Google™ Maps is the way to go due to its easy-to-navigate programming interface. Extremely complex, feature-rich maps can be built relatively quickly and painlessly.
The service also offers a simple pay-as-you-go billing option, which allows you to customize the feature to suit your needs and the number of service calls you use.
Where’s Our Destination Now?
Ready To Add a Custom Map To Your Business Website?
LRS Web Solutions can help you succeed with creatively robust map applications that make guiding your customers an easy trip. We can create solutions to fit every need and any budget.
Contact us with your questions about this service or find out how we can easily add this to your website.