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Nokia Maps API Developer's Guide

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Overview

A small screenshot of a map with features

The Nokia Maps API for JavaScript enables developers to build Web applications with feature rich, interactive Nokia Maps at their center. The API consists of an extensive library of classes and methods to implement the functionality of an application. The associated API Playground offers ready-made working examples, with code the developer can modify, and view the effect immediately.

Feature List

The main features offered by the Maps API are summarized in the table below:

Nokia Maps map data The API provides full access to world-leading map data in three different modes: satellite, terrain and hybrid. The map data include millions of points of interests (POIs) that represent places, facilities, landmarks, etc.; their visibility on the map can be controlled via the API.
Points of interest Includes millions of different places, landmarks, places and addresses located on maps.
Search The API allows you to build search functionality into your application. Users can search for places, using keywords, addresses, or geographic coordinates.
Geocoding The API provides full access to geocoding and reverse geocoding services.
Routing The API allows you to define and render routes between a start and a destination point. It supports many navigation options such as toll road preference and transport type.
W3C positioning The API includes built-in functionality that takes advantage of the W3C Geolocation API supported by many browsers.
Custom items The API allows you to modify existing markers or create custom ones, using SVG or bitmap images. You can also add geo shapes (polygons, polylines, circles or rectangles) based on coordinates to the map, and make these custom map object interactive by assigning UI events to them.

Browser Support

The Maps API is a multi-purpose and cross-platform API, targeting all JavaScript-enabled Web browsers, whether desktop or mobile, as well as all HTML5 environments (see the next section for information about HTML5 support).

Because the number of possible browser and platform combinations is large, we limit our support to the following list of browsers:

Browser Support
Internet Explorer 7+ desktop, Windows Phone with Mango update or later on mobile*
Firefox 3.6+ desktop
Google Chrome 12+ desktop, Android 2.2+ on mobile/tablet*
Apple Safari 5+ desktop, iOS 4+ on mobile/tablet
Opera 10+ desktop and mobile*

* support does not extend all multi-touch gestures

The table above does not imply that the Maps API can be used only on the platforms it lists. If you are developing for a platform not shown in the table, we suggest that you test your application thoroughly in the target environment and report any issues via our Discussion Board.

HTML5 Support

Although HTML5 is a new emerging HTML standard, and as such it is still undergoing continual improvement, the Nokia Maps API is committed to supporting it.

For information regarding the latest features of HTML5 please visit the official HTML5 Specification page of the W3C. Details on HTML5 compliance in different Web browsers, are available on THE HTML5 TEST.

The built-in support for HTML5 in the Maps API enhances the user experience in browsers that implement the following aspects of the HTML5 specification:

Canvas
When the <canvas> element is detected, the Maps API enables fast rendering of custom shapes, forms, and images. When hardware acceleration is used, as is the case in many modern desktop and mobile browsers, the performance gain is even greater.  The API auto detects <canvas> support by default and performs all rendering activities using <canvas> where possible.
SVG
The HTML5 specification allows for embedding of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in HTML pages. The use of SVG increases the rendering speed of custom shapes and forms. The Maps API supports the use of SVG icons as custom markers.
Geolocation
Browsers that offer HTML5 geolocation support are able to share their position on the globe and this means that the Maps API can request the location details from the browser. On most mobile devices, geolocation detects a user’s position to within a few meters. It is also possible to obtain an accurate current position on desktop environments connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, but note that there may be some delay in response, as the Wi-Fi positioning look-up is based on a server request. Positioning look-up and response time vary from browser to browser. The security policy on most browsers does not automatically allow immediate access and a confirmation dialog is shown instead. Please bear this in mind when using the geolocation feature.

Performance

The Nokia Maps API has been designed to meet the demands of modern Web application development. The common development patterns it implements help improve efficiency and shorten the development cycle.

Fast start-up
The Nokia Maps API is outstanding in terms of memory consumption due to the small size of the underlying JavaScript framework. The map starts fast and the content loads smoothly.
Fast loading
The Nokia Maps API provides packaged and lazy loading of features such as route and search – and even of the map data itself. The content is downloaded from the server only when needed.
Fast browsing
The Nokia Maps API supports in-built browser caching. Once the content has been downloaded from the server, it is reused as much as possible to minimize bandwidth usage.

Licensing

Nokia Maps API is free to use under the Nokia Maps API terms and conditions. However, only authenticated users are permitted unlimited service usage. Please follow this link for information on how to gain unrestricted access to the Nokia Maps API offering: Acquiring API credentials.

 

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