MapstractionAPI Sandbox: For Trying Out Multiple Providers

mapstraction API

For their workshops on Mapping APIs today Evan Henshaw and Andrew Turner created the Mapstraction API Sandbox on Google App Engine. Mapstraction (Radar post)is a Javascript framework that abstracts many different mapping APIs. The sandbox is no different. It will let you play with code samples from Microsoft’s, Google’s, Yahoo’s, Mapquest’s and OpenStreetMap’s APIS (and many others for a total of 11 major providers). The Sandbox also has hooks into data services such as geocoders and Geonames.

Websites depend on their mapping providers (like Google or Yahoo). However the API calls are proprietary so the sites are unable to easily switch between providers. Mapstraction provides a very easy way to do that if a provider was down or the TOS changed. Mapstraction is in use by several companies including Reuters and Swivel. If you’re not sure if Mapstraction will work for you check their Features page.

mapstraction features

  • http://friendfeed.com/cmn christoph richter

    i like openlayers much much more.
    they have one API, and you can load map data from any map server you like(Live, google, gis,…). even your own one.

  • http://freethink.way-nifty.com/ Inetgate

    When I try to open features page of mapstraction, google chrome alarms that there is “openstat.ws”.
    Is that page safe?

  • http://highearthorbit.com Andrew Turner

    @christoph OpenLayers is a very good mapping library with rich features. However, many developers/users want the entire look, feel, experience of native providers – especially with capabilities like streetview, Live Bird’s eye view, traffic, or other individual features that go beyond the basic mapping capabilities.

    Mapstraction provides a common way to move between the actual providers.

    @Inetgate – someone from the Mapstraction development community recently noticed that as well. ‘openstat.ws’ isn’t used anywhere in the site/code. We’re looking into why this error would show up.

  • http://www.scratch99.com/ Stephen Cronin

    Re: ‘openstat.ws’

    I’m using Firefox, but my avast anti-virus picks it up as a virus.

    I’ve never been to the Mapstraction website, so it’s not limited to them. I’ve checked the source of all the tabs I have open and ‘openstat.ws’ doesn’t appear in any of them.

    I’d started thinking that it may be that my instance of Firefox was infected, but the fact that Inetgate is using Chrome lowers the likelihood of that slightly. The other option is that there is some sort of ‘hidden’ virus infecting multiple websites out there.

    I know design float is currently infected with something (hidden iframes injected into their pages). Perhaps my browser has been infected by that.

    Anyway, I thought I’d share, so we can beat this virus…

  • http://www.scratch99.com/ Stephen Cronin

    Hi. further to my previous comment, I thought I’d let everyone know that I’ve tracked where openstat.ws was coming from, at least in my case.

    For me, it was because a website I visited was running Google Adsense. It seems to be the ad served up by Google which is invoking openstat.ws.

    I’ve written up my investigation if anyone’s interested: Google Adsense Serving Up Malware?