Google Schmaps

We all love the Google Maps. If you don’t then it means you probably haven’t tried them. Try ’em. They’re nifty, especially when you start using the Satellite view and fly around the world with it.
The only thing that sucks about Google Maps is the API. For those who don’t know, an API is an interface that is provided for an application so that someone else can plug in to it and make use of it. Without them, there would be little fun in the computer lands. Anyways, back to my point, in that as I was working on a new site for Old First Concerts I thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to integrate the Google Maps in to their Directions section?” The answer to which is of course it would. But there’s one mighty big rub in all of this. The API is twisty and the documentation sucks. It sucks big.
I could understand if Google wanted to keep this to themselves, but by creating an API, they are sharing it with the rest of us, and should give us the ability to actually make use of it. So, in standard fashion, I looked around to see how others had dealt with this smarky documentation and in particular, I turned to Yelp who have quite nicely integrated the Google Maps in to their site. In looking at the code though, they essentially wrote their own front end to the damn thing. Yes, it’s true that their setup is a little fancier and that what they did is definitely a good use of an API, but the fact of the matter is that to make a simple map for one location on a site, Google Maps are a mess.
Ultimately what would be great would be to have a nice cut and paste, basic layout for an example that actually works and looks like a normal Google Map (unlike their example which is über weak.) I guess is that since they’re providing it for free, this is what you’ve got to deal with. Yay…