Easy way to create a map app?
July 25, 2013 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there free or near-free software that I can use to create apps for iOS and Android that will take location data and display the sites on an interactive map?

I do some volunteer work for a non-profit. They've got some data - [name, latitude, longitude, other descriptive info] - that they think would be useful to visitors as an interactive map. I do have a background in software, so I said I'd look into it. I've never worked on mobile apps, so I'm not up on what resources are out there. What's the easiest way to create a map app from data? Thanks.
posted by AMyNameIs to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
For iOS, the framework to use is MapKit. You could use an instance of MKPinAnnotationView to drop a pin on a coordinate. Search on these terms with "tutorial" to see demos and sample code.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:53 PM on July 25, 2013

Unless you are doing this as a learning project, do not try and create a native app for sticking some pins on a map. A web map will do everything you need to do, and work on desktop too!

I would start with throwing your stuff into Google Fusion Tables and then figure out enough of the Google Maps API to display the information that comes out on your organization's website.
posted by rockindata at 3:59 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Google Maps web APIs handle GeoRSS and some limited KML, and since most devices nowadays seem to do a fairly good job with the web maps, can you just publish a GeoRSS feed?

For instance, here's Google Maps with my status update RSS feed on it, if that'll do it's really easy to do GeoRSS and the format contains almost exactly what you're looking for.
posted by straw at 4:35 PM on July 25, 2013

uMap is what you want. Create map features on top of any style of OpenStreetMap slippy map, You can import GeoJSON (and possibly KML). You can export a short link and share that.

Here's an example I made for Ontario's microwave links: http://u.osmfr.org/m/967/. It's a little painful on iOS (and quite alarming on my Nexus7), as it has to render about a megabyte of map link data spanning a huge area. Smaller maps with fewer points will be much more fun.
posted by scruss at 6:22 PM on July 25, 2013

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