Placebase(TM), Inc. today announced availability of the Dynamic Layers application programming interface (API) for Pushpin LE. This API makes Pushpin LE the first Google style mapping service with advanced layer control. Through layers, the service natively supports advanced graphical elements such as dynamically shaded regions. For example, tints representing sales by territory, demographics by block group, or housing prices by zip code can be slipped underneath the streets on the fly. With other Google type mapping systems, shading would have to be placed on top, obscuring elements below and destroying the legibility of the map.
Google style maps are distinguished by their fluid usability, cartographic excellence, and high performance. They are easy to deploy and support, both narrowly and widely, and require no server infrastructure on the customer side. Displayable in any browser without plug-ins, they are provoking wide interest.
"Suddenly, businesses are coming to us wanting information-rich Google style maps with graphical requirements that only specialized mapping systems used to support," said Jaron Waldman, CEO of Placebase. "We developed Dynamic Layers so anyone with web development skills can push the envelope of what browser-based mapping systems can do."
Many analytical business applications depend on information-rich maps with substantial graphical complexity. Some examples include geographical market analysis, retail site location, and real estate investment. To avoid clutter and illegibility, such applications require sophisticated control over map appearance. Using the Pushpin LE Dynamic Layers API, web developers get application-specific overlays and, for the first time in a Google style map, underlays. Underlays offer applications deep control of the map, management of clutter and legibility, ultimately making complex applications usable where they otherwise might not be.
Google type services are typically pre-rendered in their final form and cached before the service is launched for the first time. With Dynamic Layers, however, final tiles are composited by an application on the fly out of multiple images from the cache. For example, the base map might be on one tileset, and the streets and labels on a second. As a result, graphics such as application-specific shading of regions can be placed below the streets and labels instead of on top. This guarantees legibility and ultimately makes a map usable where it otherwise might not be.
Dynamic Layers for Pushpin LE is an extension of the service's basic API, which was designed to be familiar to developers who have experience with Google's mapping API. The extended API offers web developers the on-the-fly capability to turn on and off pre-rendered map elements and control how map tiles are composited for display in a browser.
Pricing for the service starts at $2,250 for up to 165,000 map views.
About Pushpin LE
Pushpin LE ( http://www.pushpin.com ) is a turnkey hosted mapping solution that allows commercial developers to create high-quality, browser-based map applications quickly and easily with the familiar look and feel pioneered by Google Maps(TM). Pushpin LE also embraces and extends the Google Maps application programming interface (API), which has become a de facto standard among developers. To satisfy the needs of commercial customers Pushpin LE provides services and features such as help desk support, a service-level agreement, and non-branded or customer-branded maps.
Since its founding in 2001, Placebase, Inc. has been creating hosted platforms that display highly sophisticated interactive maps in ordinary Web browsers. The company's customers represent both small and large organizations, including UCLA and the Brookings Institution. Placebase is an ongoing developer of Fannie Mae Foundation's DataPlace(TM), the most feature-rich mapping application currently available on the Web ( http://www.dataplace.org ). More information about Placebase can be found at http://www.placebase.com .
NOTE: Placebase and Pushpin are trademarks of Placebase, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.