Monday, June 01, 2015

How to Create Vintage Looking Google Maps

The Google Maps API Styled Maps option allows developers to customize the colors of different features on the map.

Historic Places has used this feature to create a vintage looking map style for its map of historic attractions and places on the East Coast of the US. This vintage map look has been enhanced by also using Custom Overlays to add a compass rose, a galleon and a number of images of clouds to the map.

The vintage looking style is complemented by using custom designed map markers, which are designed to resemble the actual historic locations indicated on the map.

Yarr, Pirate Maps is another Google Map which uses the Styled Maps feature to create a vintage looking map. The map uses a few other clever tricks to create a distinct pirate themed design, complete with animated waves, birds and pirate ships.

The paper looking effect is created by using a number of background images and z-index on the map. The colored map tiles are created using the Google Maps API Styled Maps feature. The animated waves, birds and ships are created using animated gifs as map markers.

The really clever feature on this map however is that the ships and waves are only placed in the sea, the sea-gulls only appear near land and trees only appear in parks. The Google Maps Elevation API is being used to determine sea and shore locations. The Google Places API is being used to find the locations of parks.

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