Google Maps/Street View API : V2 vs V3

Today, at Rea we had our fourth Innovation Day. We have learnt a lot over the past year about how to engage the business, the QA’s and Operations. We have made every effort to make Innovation Days not just about developers. So today, Steve and I decided to have a play around with Street View and properties.

Over the past few months, I have become a fair bit familiar with the Google Maps API, specifically there third version. It is a very neat little API and allows me a lot of handles on little things that make playing with Google Maps and Javascript such fun. But until now, I had not discovered so many things missing between the V2 and V3 versions.

And it is not just functionality. The very way Street View motions down a street is so much more grainier and jerky in V3. Was it solely because they switched from flash to JS? If so, why? I think it may have been to accomodate iPhone’s lack of flash, but why a simple UserAgent check did not suffice, I do not know!

Things that I found missing from V3 that were in V2

  • panTo() method is missing from StreetView
  • Cannot seem to give a pancake to the cursor
  • Cannot put custom controls on StreetView

Out of those three, the most annoying is the first one, since that ensures that when you walk down the street in Street View, it zooms in rather than pans. And not only that, the movement between the two positions on Street View is a pulse, rather than a flow, negating what used to be a very cool warp effect. Also, these effects are still visible on their main site.

Do not get me wrong, V3 is a great; I am just wondering whether V3 should be called V1.9?

About “Mujtaba Hussain”

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