Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Unpublished Static Street View API

My Google Maps related highlight of last week was Jamie Thompson's examination of Google's unpublished static Street View API. I was particularly impressed with Jamie's demo Street View Tile Viewer.

I was also taken by something Jamie mentioned at the beginning of his post. He referred to Google's use of Street View thumbnail images in the information windows in Google Maps when you search for a location.



It struck me that it would be very easy to replicate that in a Google Maps mashup. The static thumbnails of Street Views are given unique URL's in the form:

http://cbk0.google.com/cbk?output=thumbnail&w=[WIDTH]&h=[HEIGHT]&ll=[LAT,LNG]

So in order to place a thumbnail of an available Street View in an information window on your own Google Map you just need to append the latitude and longitude of a map marker to the end of the static Street View image URL.

Here is the idea in action in this Street View tour of Church Square, Pretoria.



If you click on any of the map markers on the map you can view a static preview image of the Street View for that location.

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