Google Maps Hacking is Fun

(The quick link for my experiments is

Just a week ago I learned about the Google Maps JavaScript API. Surprising how easy it was to use and build upon. Especially for my GeoSkating project I needed a more flexible way to display routes and media on a map. So I started experimenting with the Google Maps API. In less then 5 minutes I was able to create a basic map. But I needed more. Based on a GPX (GPS track format) player from Jim Ley I built a TrackPlayer to play back skate routes. In addition the TLabel lib allows you to overlay any HTML on a Google Map. Note: also check out ka-Map. With ka-Map you can do similar things plus it is open source.

Adding layers from any WMS server

Many map servers use a standard URL-pattern based on the Web Map Server (WMS) standard.


So I wanted more: adding my own layers integrated in the map preferably with transparency. Well, this is possible thanks to work by Brian Flood and Kyle Mulka. I have created a simple JavaScript library, gmap-wms.js through which you can add your own WMS layers to a Google Map. The example above is trivial using a single transparent GIF image by faking a WMS server. All Google Maps does is requesting tiles from your WMS server (a lot of them!). In reality you will be running your own WMS server like MapServer.

See all experiments at


  1. Great. Just a suggestion for the Catalonian example: could you mix the WMS layers with the satellite view of Gmaps as well? On close zooms, that’s much more impresive. Just hoping that the example could foster WMS developments in Spain (that will be welcomed).

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