In API and developer-product news...

ExtMapTypeControl 1.1 contains a smarter traffic button. In this week's release of API v2.86, there is a "changed" event for GTrafficOverlay that sends a boolean indicating whether traffic data is available in the current viewport. Using this event, Pamela modified the traffic button in ExtMapTypeControl to behave exactly as the maps.google.com button does. The example below lets you test out the new behavior - pan and zoom out to the other side of the world to see the button disappear.

The Google Mashup Editor has a couple of great new mashups including EarthQuake! which gives detailed information on earthquakes and plots their magnitude on a Google Map. If you are a Sudoku fan, Offline Sudoku will let you play away even when the internet connection isn't there for you, using Google Gears.

Speaking of Gears, Arjun Kalura has created a database sync module that shows the progress of a sync between a remote database, and a local one. The example also uses the worker pool to execute SQL in its own thread and hence keeping the user interface freed up to show the progress report on how the sync process is going.

Also, Uriel Katz announced a new release of GearsORM which adds basic introspection including a model that maps to sqlite_master table.

Around Google

We feel pretty generous with the amount of storage that we give out with our services such as Gmail and Picasa, but we realise that some users would like more so we now offer a way for you to buy more storage if you need it.

Privacy is important to us, and our users. In order to improve transparency we have launched our first experiment to explain basic privacy concepts via video on YouTube.

Joining the Open Invention Network: "You'll often hear members of our open source team say, "Every time you use Google, you're using Linux." It's absolutely true. Check a Google engineer's workstation, and you'll probably find it's running Linux. Do a search on Google.com, and a Linux server will return your results. Ever since Google got its start, Linux has given us the power and flexibility we need to serve millions of users around the world.

In turn, we feel a strong responsibility to the Linux community, and we're always looking for creative ways to put our resources in the hands of Linux developers. That's why today we became a licensee of the Open Invention Network (OIN), an innovative patent-sharing organization founded to create a legally protected environment for anyone who works with Linux."

You will notice that the search results now tell how when fresh content shows up via a small piece of metadata such as "13 hours ago". This is an instant indicator of freshness, which you may, or may not, have weight depending on what you are looking for.

Featured Projects

MapMSG lets you create an electronic note on a map. The note can be in the form of smoke, crop circles, and more.

Walk Score is a mashup that uses the Maps and AJAX Search APIs to show you how friendly your location is for walking.

Google Tech Talks

JSR-305: Java annotations For Defects: This talk describes the current status of JSR-305, Java annotations for software defect detection. This JSR will define several standard Java annotations for properties such as @Nonnegative and @Nonnull that can be used to document your design intentions in a way that be interpreted by multiple software tools.

Open-source-based high-resolution cameras: Andrey Filippov explains the designs and applications of Elphel, Inc. intelligent, network-enabled cameras based on open source hardware and software. Google currently uses Elphel cameras for book scanning and for capturing street imagery in Google Maps.

View more tech talks.