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Mapping with Google APIs in Android, Page 5

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  • By Chunyen Liu
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After this introduction, you are probably very excited to experiment with the mapping software and perhaps add in your own features. The entire software package is available for download from the attached references and you can simply import the project into Eclipse. From Eclipse, you can create a new Android project by selecting "Creating project from existing source" and browsing to the folder to which our sample project is decompressed.

Android's mapping APIs are simple to use and yet powerful, with direct access to Google's already popular tools. As Android continues to grow with more advanced APIs, I believe more map features will be ported to this platform as well. Here are what I can think of if you would like to give it a try:

  • If you are an avid user of Google Maps, I am sure you will like its style of a draggable tool bar to control the map zooming and panning. You can go ahead and model after that user interface and functionalities. It will be an excellent addition.
  • What about adding an address search functionality, just like Google Maps can do through the Web? Parsing the search results is really the key to this feature.
  • There are other neat features you can include for your mapping software, e.g. Street View, Navigation, etc.
  • Usually, it takes a little while for a GPS receiver to initialize when it is taken to a new location, so you might get an ANR dialog (Application Not Responding) if the wait is longer than approximately five seconds. To make your software execute smoothly without any system interruption, you should create a child thread for this purpose and allow it to communicate with the main thread through a message handling scheme.


  1. Download and save the entire software project
  2. Google Map View
  3. Obtaining a Maps API Key
  4. Android Developers at: http://developer.android.com
  5. Androidlet at http://www.androidlet.com

About the Author

Chunyen Liu has been a software professional for many years. Some of his applications were among winners at programming contests administered by Sun, ACM, and IBM. He has co-authored software patents, written 20+ articles, reviewed books, and also created numerous hobby apps at Androidlet and The J Maker. He holds advanced degrees in Computer Science with knowledge from 20+ graduate-level courses. On the non-technical side, he is a tournament-ranked table tennis player, certified umpire, and certified coach of USA Table Tennis.

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This article was originally published on February 15, 2012

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