Cloud-based maps styling with Google Maps Platform

Last year, Google announced the general availability of Cloud-based maps styling for the Maps JavaScript API. The cloud-based maps styling features have since its first release in 2020 been widely used by customers, and the tech giant thus decided to extend its use to the GA versions in its MapsSDK for Android and iOS. With cloud-based maps styling, it becomes easy to modify and customize the layout of your maps without having to change your apps’ code every time. With the features supported in the Maps SDK for mobile, it’s easy to manage a single branded and optimized style across all platforms and devices, as well as publish changes to a map style simultaneously. 

Cloud-based maps styling lets you create and edit map styles for any app that uses Google Maps without having to edit the app’s code. As long as the map ID is in place, Google Maps Platform opens up the ability to do style changes in the Cloud Console. 

There is more to this customization tool than simple modification of map design and the features, asides from cloud-based map styling, include:

Vector Map
Thanks to the customization features, your map can look better than ever when users engage with it.

Developers using JavaScript can choose to use the same WebGL-accelerated vector-based map which Google Maps Platform has made available for developers to use directly in their web apps. Unlike raster tile maps which consist of a set of images, vector maps are rendered on the client-side. This is done using WebGL, a web technology that takes advantage of the GPU on the user’s device to draw smoother, crisper map tiles that look great during user interactions like panning and zooming.

Business POI filtering
With cloud-based map styling, you can control the appearance and behavior of points of interest on your map. Google Maps contains information on about 200 million businesses and places worldwide. All businesses are grouped in the same POI category called “Business” with five subcategories that give you more control over which businesses to show. 

The five subcategories - lodging, shopping, food & drink, car rental, and gas stations - let you display nearby restaurants and shops to help customers plan their stay at your hotel, but filter out lodging POIs to avoid displaying competitors. 

POI Density control
In addition to POI filtering, you can also control the POI Density of your map. This means that you can select how many POIs you want to show per POI category and thus keep your map clear, all while displaying the POIs most important to your customers.

Want to hear more about the possibilities of cloud-based maps styling? Our Google Maps experts are always ready to help you find the best solution for your business. Reach out today!

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