Google Maps API v3
Google have today announced version 3 of the Google Maps API. The new version has been released as part of Google Code Labs, which means it is available now but only with basic features.
The main features of the new release seem to be faster rendering of maps, better implementation of maps on mobile devices and better geo-coding.
Google have also launched a new discussion group especially for users of the new version of the API.
Via: Google Geo Developers Blog: Announcing Google Maps API v3
Google Web Elements
Google today also launched Google Web Elements, a set of widgets of Google products which can be embedded in any web page. One of the elements is Google Maps.
It has been possible for a long time to embed Google Maps in a web page by cutting and pasting the i-frame code from the 'link' section of the Google Maps home page. However, the new Google Web Element for Google Maps is a simple to use wizard that lets users add a marker to a map, set the zoom level and the size of the i-frame.
Map Maker Graduation
Yesterday Google added first generation maps for 64 new countries and territories to Google Maps. All the new mapped areas are the result of work by users of Google Map Maker.
The image above shows the map for Lahore, Pakistan before and after the new release.
The 64 new mapped areas are:
American Samoa, Anguilla, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Guinea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Martinique, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Reunion, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Wallis and Futuna, Zambia.