One Week of Google Maps – Part 2


This is Part 2 of a week long series featuring code for the Google Maps API.

Auto-Scaling Maps A smart feature, for those displaying markers on a Google Map, is to make sure that all points that you’re rendering are being displayed. There are a couple tactics that can be used to acheive this: 1) Keep the map zoomed out far enough such that all the points will be viewable (if you know where all the points are going to be, roughly) OR 2) Auto-zoom the map in to snugly fit all the markers.

#2 is the smartest technique, but it’s not offered by the Google Maps API. However, in the course of writing a Google Maps hack for the guys at EVDO Coverage I developed a smart algorithm to do so. In a nutshell: You pass this function the map object and an array of points that you want to be shown. The map will automatically be re-centered and zoomed in to the optimal viewing position (the closest you can get without hiding any points).

I’ve set up a demo to run here.

On the demo page, there is a simple button that, once clicked, will display 10 randomly-chosen points and apply the Auto-Scaling function to them. The Auto-Scaling code can be downloaded here. The code simply provides a function which takes a map object and an array of points (as demonstrated in the above demo). Feel free to make good use of this code!

Posted: August 13th, 2005


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