Google Maps: Enhancing The User Experience

Google Maps: Enhancing The User Experience

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Google and the World Wide Web have become synonymous with one another over the course of the 21st century. Google’s search engine is the most widely used and popular search engine in the world, and other services from the company such as Google Maps are among the most popular available on the web.

With the popularity that services such as Google Maps have comes the issue of oversaturation. Websites across the web use Google Maps, resulting in an experience for users that while informative and useful, begins to look the same at every site they visit. Google is looking to change that atmosphere by offering Google Maps users enhanced API controls that can help their maps stand out from the rest.

Google Maps: Enhancing The User Experience

Tweaking Google Maps

The first place to start when tinkering with the API controls for Google Maps is to include the Google Maps JavaScript Library inside the <head> tag on a document. This allows access to the style functions that are necessary to set your map experience apart from the countless other Google Maps on millions of other webpages.

Style Components

When making adjustments to Google Maps, the three most important style components to make use of are featureTypes, elementTypes, and Stylers. These three components will be the key factors in giving your website’s map a different look and feel from the countless others that web surfers encounter in a given day.

featureTypes

This component is responsible for the manipulation of geographical features on the map and works like a CSS selector. Users can highlight roads, bodies of water, landscape features, administrative features (county lines, city limits, etc.), and even points of interest (businesses, retail, etc.) and transportation such as rail stations or bus stops.

elementTypes

With this component users can build off their selection of features completed in the previous component. This allows users to adjust and control the shape, fill, stroke, and labeling of the geographical objects highlighted during the feature component.

Stylers

Using this component, users can truly begin to set their map apart from other maps on other sites. While the other two components allow users to highlight and set apart particular features relevant to their site, product, or service on the map; this feature allows them to diversify the very appearance of the map itself.

Stylers allows the user to adjust the color and visibility of different features on the map through HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) and Hexadecimal color formats. This allows them to highlight city blocks in different colors (such as deep green for city parks, blue for government offices, and so on), change the color of bodies of water (variations on blue for lakes and rivers), and even apply different shades of yellow to streets, roads, and highways (such as light yellow for smaller, less traveled streets versus deep yellow for larger interstates).

Make it Unique

Although a brief overview, it is easy to see how any webmaster can use the JavaScript prompts of Google Maps to manipulate and adjust their Google Maps service to create a unique map that stand out in the minds of site visitors. Mastering these components and style elements makes your map unique and enhances the experience of users each and every time by making things clear and concise.

Kristin Williams is a mobile device saleswoman. She loves to write about the latest trends in the market on mobile marketing websites. Visit the CLEAR internet link to learn about fast internet.