A Common Mapping API

John Musser
Jul. 05 2006, 12:05AM EDT

It was bound to happen -- an abstraction library to hide the differences between mapping APIs: Mapstraction. It's a collaborative effort initially funded by the UK property finder Nestoria. As they describe:

Mapstraction is a library which provides a common API for Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft's javascript mapping APIs to enable switching from one to another as smoothly as possible. The aim of Mapstraction in mainly to protect companies building commercial products on top of Google Maps from changes to terms and conditions, the introduction of ads, or the emergence of a competing library with better maps, different imagery or preferable licensing terms.

Mapstraction additionally fills some holes each provider's current offerings (taking advantage of existing open source solutions where possible) to normalise the feature set across platforms. In the future, Mapstraction will also talk to OpenStreetMap for people who want to build maps without restrictions on derived works.

John Musser

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