This week we are releasing revision 2.58 of the Google Maps API v2. Since we neglected to write a blog post for revision 2.57, here's a summary of all the changes since 2.56.
Massive update to our satellite imagery. According to our calculations, we've increased our high-resolution global coverage by 4x, meaning Google Maps now covers 20% of the earth's landmass and 1/3 of the world's population. Here are some cool examples of international destinations that you can see in great detail:
- Colletto Fava mountainside in Italy, where artists have erected a 200-ft long pink bunny
- Palm Islands, the world's largest man-made islands
- Madurodam, a 1:25 scale model of a Dutch city, complete with a miniature airport
- Uluru in Australia
- the Taj Mahal in India
- Gambian national stadium
The "hand" cursor over a map. We know this feature has attracted some controversy on the discussion forum. However, it may surprise readers of this blog to learn that some Google Maps users never realize that they can drag the map. The new "hand" icon is our effort to make this feature more discoverable -- it helps users realize that they can grab the map and move it around. For developers who want the pointer cursor back, we plan to add a method in the API so you can do that. We'll keep you posted.
Fixed JSON formatting for the geocoder. Several developers reported that their JSON parsers could not accept key names without quotation marks. We added the missing quotation marks to our JSON geocoder response.
Fixed API key validation for geocoder. It was noted in this thread that the API key validation used by the geocoder is different from the validation used for the maps. This has been fixed.
API v1 Current: 1.31
API v1 Default: 1.31
API v2 Current: 2.58
API v2 Default: 2.57