Apple Maps Embeds Available for Websites With MapKit JS Beta

 
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Apple Maps Embeds Available for Websites With MapKit JS Beta

Highlights

  • The new MapKit JS brings Apple Maps to the Web
  • MapKit JS displays a defined map area based on the developer's choice
  • Developers can also add annotations and overlays to the map to customise

When Apple introduced iOS 12 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018, Apple Maps did not receive any major updates. However, the company's MapKit team at the event said that MapKit will be launched as a Web framework for users. Apple is following the footsteps of Google Maps, which for a long time has been a popular feature that is used as an embedded map for several Web services. Notably, MapKit JS is a map component that is already used in Web services such as Find My iPhone and even the WWDC 2018 site.

Users will soon find Apple Maps embedded in sites around the Internet since the company has opened up a Web-based API for developers in beta. Until now, Apple used to keep the ability to embed Apple Maps on web browsers internal, unlike Google Maps or Microsoft Bing Maps. However, the new MapKit JS brings Apple Maps to the Web finally. The new JavaScript library lets users add interactive maps to webpages, including annotations, overlays, and interfaces to Apple Maps services such as Search and Directions.

Similar to the current MapKit provided to iOS app developers, the MapKit JS displays a defined map area based on the developer's choice. They can pinpoint locations in user searches, and navigational directions between two places. However, the difference between the versions is that MapKit JS is a JavaScript API that renders within a browser, instead of an app.

As mentioned, developers can now add annotations and overlays to the map to customise it. The feature comes with additional options to display a standard street map or satellite image. They can also enable or disable panning, zooming, and rotation.

Apple notes that MapKit JS requires authorisation via JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for initialisation and some API calls. You obtain a key used to create the token when you complete the setup in your Apple Developer account.


Will iOS 12 boost sales of affordable iPhones in India? We discussed that on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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