Thursday, June 28, 2012

Google Maps API, now with even more style!

At Google I/O two years ago we launched Styled Maps in the Google Maps API, which allows you to customize the look of the map in your applications. Today we’re rolling out a number of enhancements to Styled Maps that offer more precise control over both the selection of map features to style, and the ways you can style them:
  • You can now specify a precise color for features as an RGB value in addition to the existing adjustment filters for hue, saturation, lightness, and gamma.
  • You can now style the outline stroke of features separately from the interior fill, and the label text separately from any icon.
  • You can now adjust the width of line features such as roads and rivers, and also the width of feature outlines.



If you would like to try designing a map that would suit your site we recommend that you start with the updated Styled Maps Wizard. Once you are happy with your style you can apply it to your Maps API v3 application as detailed in the Styling section of the Maps API documentation.

Web sites like the Submarine Cable Map and the NY Times already use Styled Maps to simplify or soften a map in order to draw more attention to the data provided. Map of the Dead and The Global Transition to a New Economy restyle their maps to fit the house style or theme of their respective websites. There have also been a few maps that are just a little unusual, such as Fata Morgana.

If you need assistance in using Styled Maps for your site, or have any other Maps API related question, we recommend consulting our developer community and support channels. We look forward to seeing how you take advantage of these new Styled Maps features to make even more beautiful and engaging new Maps!