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Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax: From Novice to Professional Paperback – March 5, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1590597873 ISBN-10: 1590597877 Edition: 1st

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Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax: From Novice to Professional + Beginning Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Web Development) + Beginning Google Maps API 3 (Expert's Voice in Web Development)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (March 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597873
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andre Lewis has been working with technology for the last nine years. His experience ranges from large-scale enterprise consulting with Accenture to startup ventures and open source projects. During "Web 1.0," Andre helped architect coolboard.com, one of the top 50 trafficked Internet sites in 2000. He currently runs his own business, developing Ruby on Rails applications and consulting on Web 2.0 technologies. He also runs hotspotr.com, a community-driven site for WiFi cafes. He blogs about technology, work, and general interests at http://earthcode.com. From time to time, Andre gives presentations to San Francisco-area technology groups, including SDForum and the SF Ruby meetup. Andre lives and works in San Francisco, California. When he's not working with clients or exploring the latest technologies, he likes to mountain bike, camp, and ride his motorcycle.

Cameron Turner has been programming computers since his first VIC 20 at age 7. He has been developing interactive web sites since 1994. In 1999, he cofounded We-Create, Inc., which specializes in Internet software development. He is now the company's chief technology officer. Cam obtained his honors degree in computer science from the University of Waterloo, Canada, with specialization in applied cryptography, database design, and computer security.

Cam lives in Canada's technology capital of Waterloo, Ontario, with his wife, Tanya, son, Owen, and dog, Katie. His hobbies include biking, hiking, water skiing, and painting. He maintains a personal blog at CamTurner.com, discussing non-technical topics, thoughts, theories, and family life.



Jeffrey Sambells?is a graphic designer and self-taught web applications developer best known for his unique ability to merge the visual world of graphics with the mental realm of code. With a bachelor of technology degree in graphic communications management along with a minor in multimedia, Jeffrey was originally trained for the traditional paper-and-ink printing industry, but he soon realized the world of pixels and code was where his ideas would prosper. In late 1999, he cofounded We-Create, Inc., an Internet software company based in Waterloo, Ontario, which began many long nights of challenging and creative innovation. Currently, as director of research and development for We-Create, Jeffrey is responsible for investigating new and emerging Internet technologies and integrating them using web standards-compliant methods. In late 2005, he also became a Zend Certified Engineer. When not playing at the office, Jeffrey enjoys a variety of hobbies from photography to woodworking. When the opportunity arises, he also enjoys floating in a canoe on the lakes of Algonquin Provincial Park or going on an adventurous, map-free, drive with his wife. Jeffrey also maintains a personal website at JeffreySambells.com, where he shares thoughts, ideas, and opinions about web technologies, photography, design, and more. He lives in Ontario, Canada, eh, with his wife, Stephanie, his daughter, Addison, and their little dog, Milo.

Michael Purvis is a mechatronics engineering student at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He is a mostly self-taught programmer. Prior to discovering PHP, he was busy making a LEGO Mindstorms kit play Connect 4. Currently, he maintains an active community site for classmates, built mostly from home-brewed extensions to PunBB and MediaWiki. He has written about CSS for the Position Is Everything web site, and occasionally participates in the css-discuss mailing list. He particularly enjoys those clever layouts that mix negative margins, relative positioning, and bizarre float tricks to create fiendish, cross-browser, flexible-width concoctions. These and other non-technical topics are discussed on his weblog at UWmike.com. Offline, he enjoys cooking, cycling, and social dancing. He has worked for We-Create, Inc. on a number of exciting PHP-based projects and has a strong interest in independent web standards.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Watkins VINE VOICE on May 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was worried when I ordered this book that it would just be a reference book of the Google Maps API, but thankfully I was wrong. This book is an excellent reference to anyone wanting to build a Google Maps enabled Rails Application.

The first four chapters take you through building an application, similar to the author's hotspotr application where a user can save Wifi hotspot information. For many people this may be all they are looking for, a way to create maps, save information and geocode addresses.

Chapters 5-8 deal with larger datasets and the example they use is from the FCC Antenna Structure Registration, which has 120k records already geocoded for you. It then takes you through different presentation methods. If you want to see the output, go to book dot earthcode dot com chapter seven, server custom tiles. It's a very impressive result, similar to the pictures of earth at night.

The rest of the book gives other advanced uses and apis, I have not read all the way through that but it looks interesting. The other thing I like about the tone of the book is the conversational style. For example in Chapter 5 where they are using the FCC dataset they talk about the advantages of using a mysql import instead of going through the ActiveRecord layer, resulting in importing the data in less than a minute compared to 1.5 hours with ActiveRecord. This is the type of information that usually only comes from time spent trying different methods, so it's nice for us to be able to leverage their hard work.

In general I have been impressed with the Apress books ( no pun intended) them and Pragmatic Programmers have really started giving O'Reilly a run for their money.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Lopke on May 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in using Google Maps with Ruby on Rails. My expectations were exceeded and I believe it lives up to its sub-title "From Novice to Professional".

I develop Rails applications and became interested in Google Maps in conjunction with a Real Estate application I was working on. In particular, I was interested using Google Maps for visual analysis of large data sets. Knowing next to nothing about the Google Maps API, I was truly at the Novice level. The book started off at the basics and quickly built on example and technique to the point where there was a working example of a problem similar in scope to mine. Along the way, the trade offs and techniques were well presented and explained in detail. Not only did I gain the knowledge and confidence to tackle my particular problem, but I was also inspired by all the other potential applications of this exciting new technology.

This book was well organized and written. I was obvious that the authors had worked through the examples and I especially appreciated many of the best practices and hints they gave. Chapter 7 "Optimizing and Scaling for Large Data Sets" was particularly interesting for me and my application. It included code and examples for several server-side and client-side techniques and as well as a clear explanation of their uses and trade offs.

If you are a Rails coder and you want to master Google Maps, this is a must have book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben on September 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I was learning ruby on rails (I had no experience at all when I bought it). I built a website using the material in the book within a few weeks during my spare time. [...] I think I've read every page in this book twice, its goto book for almost anything dealing with rails and google maps. One note, a few things have changed in the rails language, so make sure to download the errata of the code on the website. Just google the name of the book to find it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Nguyen on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wouldn't recommend getting this book if you're trying to implement Google Maps on Rails. It is outdated if you are using Rails 3 and the Google maps API v3. I also didn't think the steps they have to chapter by chapter was structured very well - I prefer a more guided approach because I am relatively new to rails and javascript and there were a lot of places where it was easy to get stuck.

If you are trying to implement google maps on rails, I'd recommend maybe getting the Apress book on the GMaps API v3, and then just relying on Google/Stack Overflow to figure out how to integrate it into Rails. There doesn't seem to be any good books that provide this at the moment.
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