Monday, July 18, 2005


Google Maps showing a scale

Google Maps have started to show a scale on their maps, in the position previously used by the Google logo.

This scale does not always appear on the maps, but does seem to be there whenever you go to a map via a "link to this page" URL. The scale is provided with the tooltip "Scale at the center of the map" and gives a horizontal scale. As you scroll the map, the scale changes dynamically as the area in the center of the map changes, which dramatically illustrates the fact that the scale is not constant over the whole of the visible map. No attempt is made to provide a scale in the vertical direction, which is not normally the same as the horizontal one.

The scale is shown for both the maps view, and the satellite view, and gives both imperial and metric units (with the unit changing as appropriate to keen the numbers managable).

I've not been able to determine if there is a way for applications using the Google Maps API to get to show this scale.

Update: Its not been documented yet, but the API now supports the Scale control via a command such as:
map.addControl(new GScaleControl());

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