Google Maps API Adds Time Zone Functionality

On its Geo Developers Blog, Google announced time zone functionality for the Google Maps API. Developers around the globe have exhaled a sigh of relief, as time zone functionality has either kept them up at night, required extensive programming, or remained just a bit outside of an apps functionality because it wasn't mandatory (but sure would have been nice). Perhaps the Google developers who implemented the functionality are as relieved as anybody, as they describe in the announcement:

More often than not, we Sydney engineers have been woken by 2am calendar reminders and email notifications sent from colleagues from around the world.  Sleep deprivation has just been a part of the job!"

The time zone functionality allows developers to request the time zone for any location on earth, as well as the locations offset from UTC. Google hopes to enhance the features website and app developers, who use the Google Maps API, provide their users/visitors. Standard use limits requests to 2,500 per day. Maps for Business customers can make 10,000 requests per day.

The API returns requests in XML and JSON data formats. Developers request time zone information based on a single location (based on longitude and latitude) just as they request the location via the Google Maps API. As we get ready to "fall back" in many parts of the world, developers can rest assured that the Google Time Zone API should make their time-zone-intensive responsibilities a little easier to cope with.

Be sure to read the next Mapping article: Tracking Hurricane Sandy via Social Media Data