iPhone and Google Maps
I’ve gotten quite a bit more feedback than I anticipated about my prior post about Google Maps and the iPhone. Who would’ve thought that not being able to mash up live GPS data, maps, and one or more external files of geographic data in a generic, consumer-driven way would be such a stir?
Since then, I’ve made some progress on this rant.
LocWidget: this handy iPhone app allows you to send Latitude, Longitude, and Altitude measurements as query parameters to a website of your choosing. It also takes it a step further, sending the phone’s unique id. (Great for those dispatch apps we are barred from creating.) The great part: it gets the data to a website in a way that any site developer can consume. The bad part: you gotta keep launching the app to get anything done.
These are both great steps forward, but don’t fundamentally solve the problem at hand. What I want is:
Per domain permanent acceptance to use location services like I can per app now
Live GPS data and external KML can mix in a central, standard place, without changing applications
I see this could get solved easily in one of two ways. Either
- Provide a field in the Google Maps app for “url of a KML file” (or maybe access to Google’s “My Maps”)
Yeah, I know, dream on. Flash isn’t coming to the iPhone in this millennia. Neither is copy & paste. Or even a system-wide “switch to landscape” keyboard for those of us with hands bigger than my kindergartner. Next I’ll dream of having Mono or Silverlight on the iPhone. Or wilder still, it prompts me to allow location services on each request, but there’s no firewall to block a game from uploading my high score, date & time, and possibly my phone number or phone guid to it’s service on every game-over. (“I’m really thrilled I just got a high score, but I don’t need to publish to all the world my phone data so you can bombard me with even more targeted ads while I play, thank you very much.”)
But if you’re watching, Steve, and if it isn’t too much to ask, can you give me the ability to do real time GPS / KML mashups? Either in the Google Maps iPhone app or in Safari is fine. And I’ll forget I even mentioned those silly terms like “Flash” or “.NET” or “copy & paste”.