Extending Google Maps With JavaScript

If you’re into Google Maps, check out Jon
Udell’s screencast
demonstrating the
Google Maps Route Animation
. Remarkable stuff. This project (consisting of a single line of
JavaScript code contained in a single bookmarklet) shows some real creativity,
innovation, and just plain smarts. But it also raises some other interesting possibilities.

now, there’s a trend toward application extensibility, usually through web services,
driven by companies like Amazon, eBay, Google, Flickr, etc. But that’s all "server-side
extensibility". Why not client-side extensibility? Are we witnessing the beginning
of a new trend? I’ve experimented with bookmarkelts before, but it’s
fascinating how this one jacks into the existing JavaScript on the page to add
very cool new functionality to the application practically as though it were native
functionality. It’s admittedly sketchy since Google’s code will likely change someday,
swiftly breaking the bookmarklet. But what if it were based on public, published
API rather than some very clever reverse engineering? As applications become
richer, will they start providing JavaScript and ActionScript APIs to allow third-parties
to build simple client-side extensions? Will we start extending RIAs in the same
way we extend Firefox? Man, I hope so!

2 Responses to Extending Google Maps With JavaScript

  1. arpit (amp) says:

    Definitely interesting. Do u see googlemaps kick-starting a trend towards making visual apps with Javascript that would have conventionally been done using Flash ?

  2. James says:

    Definietly cool. Too bad my Treo browser is blocked by Google Maps… 🙁