Google’s various APIs are designed to allow coders to run amok (in a good way) with Google resources. That’s certainly been demonstrated with the Google Maps API, where the Grand Theft Auto community has implemented full Street View on their map of Liberty City.
The Grand Theft Auto community, and especially GTA4.net, have been hard at work in building an advanced map of the fictional Liberty City since 2008. As a city meant to mirror current-day New York City, Liberty City is an expansive and complex landscape – and certain extras that most Google Maps users don’t particularly care about, such as weapons and armor, must also be covered. We covered some of the initial implementation of Google Maps API for the Liberty City guide previously, but the community has stepped things up a notch.
The Google Street View feature, which allows users to navigate sweeping panoramic views of real world cities, has been implemented in full for GTA’s Liberty City. More than 3,000 total panoramas were implemented to create this feature, and more than 80,000 total screenshots and a million total images were required in the construction of those panoramas. The GTA4.net community used a script to capture all the snapshots.
The Street View navigation of Liberty City is just one more feature to be added to an expansive map that includes labels for important “hot spots” like missions, stunt ramps, weapons, ammo, armor, hidden packages, easter eggs, and – of course – strip clubs.
Every bit of it was built into the Google Maps API, demonstrating the immense capabilities of the code. Webmasters and business owners who want to take advantage of the API can find out more about implementing this surprisingly simple yet versatile code at the official Google Maps API site.
Effective uses for webmasters include branding the map, adding business locations, and tagging your very own “hot spots” – although pointing to “stunt ramps” or “ammo” may be a somewhat risky idea.