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Web-based mapping: An evaluation of four JavaScript APIs
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As a result of Web 2.0 technologies such as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) web-based applications with rich contents are evolving to be more and more like normal applications in aspects, such as interactivity, functionality, and usability. This evolvement makes it possible to create web-based services, providing maps for users to search and browse geographic information. This thesis is an evaluation of functionality, usability and accuracy for the four web-based map APIs: Google Maps, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Multimap and ViaMichelin.

The thesis explains how web-based mapping works, common functionality provided, and evaluates the functionality provided by each map service provider as well as the offered usability. In addition to this, it also includes the results of several tests, illustrating the APIs’ browser compatibility, performance and accuracy.

After testing and evaluation of the four APIs, the conclusion is that none of them can be appointed as the winner. They all have benefits and drawbacks; differences in terms of functionality, compatibility, usability, geocoding and development support, and the choice of API is consequently dependent of the type of application. As a result of this, and the fact that the APIs are constantly changing in terms of functionality and coverage, it is important to create applications independent of the map service provider. This was successfully done during the internship at Amadeus by creating a map abstraction layer in-between the applications and the maps, creating the possibility to switch API, or map service provider, without changed the code.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för datavetenskap , 2008. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
Web mapping, map API, map evaluation, API Abstraction layer, geocoding
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10552ISRN: LITH-IDA-EX--07/067--SEOAI: diva2:17281
2007-12-20, Herbert Simon, E-huset, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15
Available from: 2008-01-15 Created: 2008-01-15

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