Google Maps API first steps towards open source

This morning there’s some great news about the Google Maps API:

The Google Maps API Team is excited to announce our new open source project, the GMaps Utility Library. This project will be hosted on code.google.com and will let the Google engineers for the Maps API work hand-in-hand with the many great developers in the Maps API community. Together, we can extend the core Maps API and ensure that every developer need is met.

There are a few reasons why I think this is great news:

  1. The first good thing about this is that Google takes the development community around the Google Maps API seriously. They want to work together with the community to create a better API.
  2. It allows developers to create and share extensions to the Maps API more easily.
  3. The Google Maps API can be extended without the core becoming bloated. The user of the API can choose which extensions they want to use, so they are in control!

I’m very curious which parts of the API will become Open Source. It won’t be the core I reckon because the project is called the “GMaps Utility Library”.

At this moment they’ve open-sourced the code for the GMarkerManager. The code, docs and examples can be found at: http://gmaps-utility-library-dev.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/markermanager/

Another thing I’m wondering about is how they are going to work with the community? Will it be the community who decides what will be in the Core API? I guess will have to wait and see.

If you want to participate in the project, you’ll have to read the FAQ

At this moment I’m just using the API, but maybe I’ll find some time to dive into the code myself.

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