Google Maps API Premier
The work in HHS impacts Americans all over the country, and now you can show people just where that impact is taking place by displaying your location-based information on a customized interactive map. Displaying information on maps can show off the great work your office is doing, demonstrate a relationship between two sources of information, or encourage those in other locations to get involved in your program. You can create basic maps that plot simple location points, or you can create more advanced features including regions and multiple display options.
If you have information that can be plotted on a map, and doing so can bring value to your site visitors, you should explore how you can display your information using the Google Maps Enterprise License.
Learn more about if the Google Maps API Premier is right for your office and how to get started.
Getting Started with Google Maps
Q: Why should my office use the enterprise Google maps license instead of a basic map, or the free version of Google maps?
When maps play an important role on your public website, or are incorporated in an internal application for employees, organizations need an enterprise-class application that handles high volumes and provides necessary support. Google Maps for Enterprise also provides complete control over the user interface for advanced functionality.
At HHS, many programs work with groups across the country in many different capacities. Does your office have a set of information that contains location information? Examples might include: grants, videos, pictures, service centers, office locations, etc. that contain any sort of location information, such as zip code, address, gps location, state, district, region, latitude/longitude, etc.
You will need to convert your information into XML, CSV, or KML.
You will receive a client ID and the HHS secret cryptographic key. Do not share this information, and do not put it in any publicly accessible code.
You will need to use your client id to use selected Google Maps API Web Services. You will need to sign your requests using the HHS secret cryptographic key.
If you have lost either, contact email@example.com
Your developer will use the client ID and the cryptographic key to exchange the data in the KML file with Google maps.
KML is a file format used to display geographic data in an earth browser, such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for mobile. Like HTML, KML has a tag-based structure with names and attributes used for specific display purposes. Thus, Google Earth and Maps act as browsers for KML files.
KML can be used to:
- Specify icons and labels to identify locations on the planet surface
- Create different camera positions to define unique views for each of your features
- Use image overlays attached to the ground or screen
- Define styles to specify feature appearance
- Write HTML descriptions of features, including hyperlinks and embedded images
- Use folders for hierarchical grouping of features
- Dynamically fetch and update KML files from remote or local network locations
- Fetch KML data based on changes in the 3D viewer
- Display COLLADA textured 3D objects
You will probably need access to a developer who is knowledgeable in KML or at least XML and willing to learn KML. KML is an XML language for describing geographic content. Visit the Google resources on KML for additional information about KML. The KML file will be uploaded to your server and read by Google maps.
The answer to this question depends on what format your information is in before it is converted to KML. Your information may start out in Excel, Notepad, Access, a relational database, or even a Word file. It will be easiest to work with your data in CSV (which can be created using Microsoft Excel) or if you have a database that can export XML.
No, Google maps are not accessible to people with disabilities. You will have to provide the content for each location point in an alternative format for people using assistive technology. This can be achieved by making a static html page with the data available, or an accessible PDF version of the data.
Once you have your information in a KML file, you will need a Google maps license. If you have not already, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain your license.
Google maps is capable of more advanced levels of interaction, such as being able to toggle the display of difference types of data on a single map, different regions, and different effects when a user clicks a location point (zoom, view angle, equations to total grants dollars for selected items, drill down into more data, etc.).
More advanced map functions require more complex coding. That means that you will need access to a developer with specialized knowledge of advanced web scripting languages. If you need more information about what questions to ask, or you know that you currently do not have this expertise on your team, contact email@example.com for assistance.