Google Static Maps

Added on: Monday 20th April 2009

Google Maps have been around a long time now and have been integrated into numerous websites and applications but in some cases are overkill.

A little while back Google released their Static Maps API which basically takes a set of parameters and generates a 'static' image of the map.

This requires no javascript at all so the solution is ideal where you want a lightweight page or where users might not have javascript turned on.

On the downside you can't interact with the map - zooming, panning or clicking markers but in many cases there is no need to.

For example, on many websites the Contact Us page may have a standard Google map - but is that really necessary? All you need is a marker on the map at the location of the office or premises - no one wants to zoom in or out and any additional information (directions etc) can be supplied in the narrative os there is no need to click on the marker.

We've now added Static Maps as an option to the Maps module in our content management system and this page advertising the Chagford Two Hills race shows it in action.

Unfortunately at the moment it is not possible to add customised markers but I think that will probably come.

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