The API means developers can access Google’s cloud infrastructure and easily layer their own data on top of the now widely recognised Google Maps experience.
Companies can then share this through a mobile or web app to their employees, customers and the wider public, making it far easier to distribute and access this information from anywhere in the world.
“The API provides direct access to Maps Engine for reading and editing spatial data hosted in the cloud,” Jen Kovnats, product manager, Google Maps for Business, said.
“With the API, organisations can develop on any platform – Web, Android, iOS and server-to-server – and build applications like store locators, crowdsourced maps or crisis-response maps.”
Fedex, for example, has been testing the API for a while now, and part of its store locator is already powered by it today. Using the API, FedEx currently updates its store hours for its more than 50,000 retail touchpoints.
The Google Maps Engine was launched way back in September 2011 as Google Earth Builder, a product that allowed its customers to store, manage and share their geospatial data using Google’s cloud computing infrastructure.