The Google Geocoder API transforms addresses into geographical locations with coordinates. This official Java library has the potential to expand functionality due to the other APIs that include directions API, distance matrix API, elevation API, geocoding API, roads API, and time zone API. Working with this library could facilitate automatic rate limiting, retry on failure, easy authentication, and asynchronous & synchronous requests.
Google has now made its closely-guarded Google Places API available to all developers, after nearly a year in closed beta. The API, first announced a year ago, returns business listings based on location. The search giant also added features that make the service useful for many types of local applications, in addition to simplifying the authentication process. With additional agreements, Google also allows for a healthy 100,000 queries, versus only 1,000 standard calls.
Since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, technology has certainly played a role in communicating the disaster across the world. Before and after imagery has made the devastation very clear. The three maps mashups below help describe different angles of the same disaster: from the seismic activity, to the radiation levels, to the services available to people in need of help.