The last 2 days I’ve been fixing a whole bunch of issues in Maps and Semantic Maps that surfaced since 0.4.x. I’ve also taken some time to implement a new, and IMO pretty awesome, feature for Google Maps.
You can now specify overlays for any Google Maps map. These overlays will be held in a new ‘overlays’ control you can add to the map, by which the user can select and deselect the available overlays. ATM there are 4 supported overlays: Wikipedia, Webcams, Photos and Videos. A new setting in Maps allows you to set the default overlays that should be selectable on a map, and also which of them should be shown on page load. A new ‘overlays=’ parameter allows you to override this default behaviour. This example demonstrates the use of this parameter:
The additional -1 for the first 2 overlays indicates they should be shown at pageload. The underneath image is a screenshot of a map generated with this parameter:
Using this feature together with the Google Earth plugin, which is also supported by Maps, results in awesome interaction with the map. This screenshot gives you a glimpse, but you should try it out for yourself to get all awesomeness.
As you can see, the overlays control will not be shown when viewing the Earth view. You can change the overlays by switching to another map type, changing them, and then changing the map type back to Earth.
Like the title of this blog post indicates, this feature is new in Maps 0.4.2. This version of Maps has not been released yet, but an RC is available for download (click here for Maps & Semantic Maps 0.4.2 rc1). This release will include some other changes, and a load of big bug fixes. I’ll post more about this after the release, which will probably be tomorrow, or Saturday.