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SalesRabbit Dev Diary – Improving Google Maps

Posted by Brady Anderson | March 13, 2020

SalesRabbit Leading Google Maps Developments

We don’t know how many of you are Google Maps aficionados, but we obviously care a great deal about it. It’s one of the basic foundations of our app, and when Google Maps gets better, SalesRabbit gets better.

For that fact alone, it should come as no surprise that SalesRabbit employees are actively engaged in making Google Maps better.

In a recent product update article, Google announced the Maps Android Utility Library v1.0— a set of features that provides developers with several new options to build better, more comprehensive maps. These features include things like marker clustering, customized markers, and heatmaps.

Most of that might not feel immediately applicable to you, but these impacts directly affect the SalesRabbit experience. The best part? Of the twelve major updates noted in the changelog, our very own Jeff Lockhart is responsible for six of them.

“It’s been neat to work on a number of technical challenges with mapping and supporting a large amount of data on maps, in ways no one had solved for before,” says Jeff. “I was able to contribute a number of performance improvements to the open source Android map utilities library that help operate on this data such that it displays faster and can handle the limited memory and computational capacity of mobile devices.” 

His work also makes it possible to view much more data on maps, including features like clustered markers, polygons, and KML layers.

“One problem many developers had been experiencing was needing the ability to use these various data types in tandem on Google Maps, where each works in its own unique way together on the map at the same time without conflict. Some of the other changes I contributed had to do with unique features of the KML spec, to support complex map overlays for varying use cases.”

These overlays help us provide a better service to clients who use different map data as part of their selling strategy. This is especially the case with roofing and other home service companies, who depend a lot on KML files and therefore benefit a great deal from Jeff’s efforts.

Obviously we’re proud of all the work he’s put in, both for us and for the development community as a whole. It’s great to see the technology grow and improve, especially since it’s such a big part of the solution we’re delivering to our clients. If you’d like to check out all the other work Jeff has been doing in this arena, you can visit his GitHub page. These last 6 updates are just part of the twenty he’s contributed over the years.

 

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