Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine

Using Google Static Maps API

Google Maps

This project explores the basics of using Google's Static Map software to display your own maps.

Have you seen an application or software that uses another company’s service? You might have wondered how the developers managed to get their hands on such a service. Sometimes, however, it’s not nearly as complicated as you may think; it might be a case of the developer using the company’s API.

API stands for ‘application programming interface’, and it allows developers to use the services a company has created in a safe and restricted manner. Not all services have an API you can use, but you’ll be surprised at what you can do with the free APIs available to you. In this article, we’ll make a piece of software that talks with Google Maps and creates a static map of a set location.

First of all, we’re going to need something to put our map in. For the sakes of this article, I’m using Visual Studio Community 2015, which is free to download and contains everything you need. If you have your own coding language which you can follow along with, feel free to use it!

To start, we’re going to make a Windows Form. This allows us to make fields and buttons easily, as well as being able to embed the map we want within its browser functionality. Go ahead and make a new Windows Form by clicking New->Project, then Visual C#, then clicking Windows. On the right, choose Windows Form Application.

Window Form

You’ll see a blank UI window appear in the project. That’s the window we’re going to use to build our map program on. This is what makes Windows Forms very useful, as you can create a quick program that doesn’t require much coding to create its UI.

 

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