Tech Blech

Monday, March 27, 2006

baby steps with Google maps apps

I recently wrote my first Google map applications for learning purposes. The most challenging part of these applications (warning--they are still very unpolished) was not in calling the Google Maps API, but rather, in figuring out how to call the free web geocoder service offered at to get an address converted to latitude and longitude. I wanted to call it asynchronously (not knowing how long it might take to return a value) and this is a poorly documented matter that required quite of bit of exploration on the Microsoft website and various experiments. Also, I had to read the fine print on the geocoder website until I located the correct WSDL file for C# which someone had kindly posted ( in case anyone cares).

Not unlike a monkey typing at a keyboard, I finally got the geocoder call to work. You can find all the code for the geocoder call via links on the site at The code is rough (I may update it shortly) but maybe posting it will help someone else get over the learning hump.

My other little mashups are at, which deliniates PJ's Pancake House in Princeton, and, which shows three good coffee places right in Princeton.


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