Tuesday, October 14, 2008

project hosted by Google Code

I needed a tool for managing PL/GMAPS project. Again, I turned my self to Google.
It has a service called Google Code. I decided to give it a try. I created a new project that can be visited at code.google.com/p/plgmaps.

Blogger, Code, Analytics, AdSense, Maps ... all of them are great tools! :) Give them a try!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Traffic information


One of the great features of Google Maps is the traffic information that can be displayed on the map. Unfortunately, traffic information are only available for the USA. People living outside the USA can access the information but I don't think it will be really useful to them.

1) PL/SQL Region - PLGMAPS code

2) Example

As you can see on this map, the information might not be accurate all the time. In this case, we see a car incident that is expected to end in December 2008. No one can survive a 3 months car crash! ;)

How to debug - Hello World


To facilitate the debugging of Google Maps integration to your web page, the official Google Maps API contains functions to print information to a log window.
This example will show 3 ways to print information to the log window.
I will add a "print to log" functionality to the major procedures of PLGMAPS. For example, if you add markers to the map, the log window will display the coordinates of the markers. Without this log window, you'll have to read the generated JavaScript code and find the information your are looking for.

1) PL/SQL Region - PLGMAPS code

2) Example

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Show directions


In a previous post, we saw how to do an "Hello World" using the addMarker procedure. Usually when someone needs a map on his website it's because he wants to show the location of some events. Adding directions to your map can help the users to locate and go to the events your are promoting. I am going to show you how to put a route with directions on your map using the addDirection procedure.

I will assume you read the previous post and you know how to do a simple "Hello World".

1) PL/SQL Region - PLGMAPS code

2) Example

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello world


This is the first example of PLGMAPS. It will demonstrate how to integrate an "Hello World map" into an Oracle Application Express (APEX) application. You don't need to understand JavaScript or the Google Maps API to add maps to your APEX applications.

I take into consideration that you have read the following white paper of Oracle.
Integrating Oracle Application Express with Google Maps

1) Create a Substitution String to store your Google Maps API Key value.

2) 3 things to add on the Hello World Map page

3) Page attributes - HTML body attribute
This code will load/unload the map. For more technical information, read the "reducing browser memory leaks" from the Google Map API Concepts documentation.

4) PL/SQL Region - PLGMAPS code
This is where you will add the calls to PLGMAPS package to generate the JavaScript code.

5) HTML Region - Hello World Map
This is where you set the width and height of your map.

6) Example

Wow! That was easy... more advanced features to come ;)

Kick Off


During the past few weeks, I was testing many Google's services. My favorite, the Google Maps is the one that attract and retain my attention. I like the idea of maps in web applications for displaying locations, events, contacts, people, etc.

I read an Oracle White Paper of March 2008 called Integrating Oracle Application Express with Google Maps. After giving it a try, I decided to dynamically build the map using PL/SQL. The usage of the JavaScript API used by Google Maps requires knowledge of Oriented Object Programming and might be a show stopper for some developers.

I decided to build a PL/SQL package that can generate the JavaScript code needed to add Google Maps to your web applications.

I plan to release a version for the public in the future, when there's enough functionality and documentation.

To stay updated come back. :)