Working with maps in iOS consists of an entire programming chapter, as there are tons of things that a developer can do with them. From just presenting a location on a map to drawing a journey’s route with intermediate positions, or even exploiting a map’s possibilities in a completely different way, dealing with all these undoubtably is a great experience that leads to amazing results.
Up to iOS 5.1 (including that version as well), iOS was using the Google Mobile Maps service to provide access to maps and all the related services. Since then however, things changed and Apple introduced the Map Kit, a brand new framework completely built in-house, which is used until today. By the time Apple stopped using Google’s map services, Google decided to create its own Maps SDK for all platforms, including iOS, and that way to compete the Map kit or any other map SDKs that other platforms use. Right now, Google consist of a strong player in this field, as many developers use that SDK. So writing for the Google Maps SDK for iOS is something that definitely worths to be done.
At the writing time of this tutorial, the Google Maps SDK for iOS is in the 1.9.2 version. It contains many features, the most of what’s included in the web version of maps, but on the other hand there are missing features as well that are unable to work on a mobile platform. The remarkable point is that in this version, the SDK is quite large in size (MB), and surely that’s something you have to consider if you want to copy the framework’s source files in your project. However, the features it offers are pretty interesting and important so to be rejected without second thought.
In contrary to other tutorials of mine, this time my introduction isn’t going to be long enough. That’s mostly because we have a lot of things to do in the upcoming parts, and it’s totally pointless to start discussing about various features here, since we’re about to see them in details later. All I want to say is to be prepared to meet some really interesting stuff, and if you’ve never worked with Google Maps SDK in the past, you’ll definitely enjoy working with them. In the sections that follow I’ll cover the most common tasks that developers usually perform when dealing with maps. In short, here’s what we are going to see:
- How to present the user’s current location on the map.
- How to spot a custom address.
- How to draw a route.
- How to add intermediate locations (waypoints) to a route.
- And more…
So, without losing any more time, let’s move forward to all the great stuff we are going to meet today!