Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tracking the X-Men

For over 60 years the X-Men have been fighting evil around the world. Surprisingly during that time no-one has bothered to try and track their movements.


The World of X is a Google Map of the locations where the X-Men have been active across the globe. The map is not only an important cultural insight into the secretive world of these superheroes, it is also a really impressive application of the Google Maps API.

The World of X uses the Marvel Comics API to retrieve the all important location data from the X-Men series of Marvel Comics. This location data is displayed on a custom base-map of a stylized night-light satellite view of the earth. These custom built map tiles are displayed using the Custom Map Types feature of the Google Maps API.

The marker labels, which appear when you hover your mouse over a label, are created with the help of the Marker with Label utility library. The map also includes a full-screen option, which is becoming more common with maps from other mapping libraries, but which I haven't seen used too often with the Google Maps API.

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