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Top 7 Tips For Building A Store Locator With Google’s Maps API

When you need to plan a route somewhere, find a specific location, or simply want to view satellite images of an area, chances are you turn to Google Maps. As a web mapping service application, it is powerful, extensive, and adaptable. However, its capabilities have been further enhanced by the ingenuity of third-party developers who have used Google Maps API to build an array of tools and apps that are both functional and entertaining.

Developers have created applications that allow users to plot the route of their journey by tracking their tweets along the way, find the exact location of commercial airliners in real-time, and even calculate the amount of rainwater you could harvest from your own roof. The primary use-case for Google’s mapping tools, however, is for store locators, which allow consumers to find nearby branches. These interactive maps can be embedded into web pages with site-specific information layered over the map to provide customized information to visitors.

Developers can drive user engagement and get customers into your store sooner by making it even easier for them to find you thanks to these 7 Map Tips:

  1. Autocomplete for address entry
  2. Provide a “Signed-in” experience
  3. Use HTML5 Geolocation to automatically locate customers
  4. Provide a Street View of your store exterior
  5. Sort results by actual driving distance
  6. Make a stylized map the focus of your application
  7. Let the map drive organic interaction

In this tutorial, each tip has a brief expansion on the basic idea with links to detailed Documentation, which includes example code in JavaScript and in JavaScript with HTML. There is also quick-start Sample Code in the Store Locator Library for the Google Maps API on GitHub, which includes a fully-implemented example that includes many of the tips included in this tutorial.

Be sure to read the next Location article: How to Use Google Places API to Make Location Aware Apps

Original Article

Map Tips: Build a great store locator