Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Google Maps update

For the last month or so I’ve been taking a really in-depth look at the Google Maps API. Partly out of my own curiosity, and partly as an individual project for the online capstone course at UF.

I’ve learned some really cool things along the way. How to work with information flowing between a viewer and the server, for instance. I’ve also learned more about javascript and PHP.

One bad thing though: Google Maps tend to fail when you need to plot more than 200 locations. Ken Schwencke and I found this out when we tried to plot over 800 Gainesville restaurants with their inspection reports from an XML file. We’re still looking for a solution. (We’ve basically parsed a CSV file with python and gotten it to feed into an XML file which is being fed into the map…now I’m hungry.)

We wanted to integrate restaurant reviews using the Yelp API, but the requests are restricted to only 20 businesses, so we’re working on our own review backend.

For my class project, I’m building a map with multiple layers, like crime, alcohol licenses, and restaurant inspections, that can be toggled to show only the information a viewer wants to see. Or all of it at once. It’ll be on a small scale, just as a proof of concept. But still pretty cool.