Skip to main content

Amazon announces its own Mapping API

Following the footsteps of Apple in building own mapping services, Amazon today announced beta version of its own mapping API for the developer community. This move is in line with Amazon's strategy of distancing itself from Google. It must be noted that though Amazon's Kindle Fire devices run heavily customized version of Android, it never contained Google Maps. Also Amazon runs a parallel app store in place of Google Play store for its users.
Amazon Maps API Signup Page

Amazon assures developer community that this new API provides a simple migration path for those who are already using the native Google Maps API on Android. The blog post also talks about two core features about the API:
  •  Interactive Maps. You can embed a Map View in your app for customers to pan, zoom and fling around the world. You have the option to display a user’s current location, switch between standard maps and satellite view, and more.
  •  Custom Overlays. You can display the locations of businesses, landmarks and other points of interest with your own customized markers and pins.
One interesting fact brought out by Mashable here is,
....neither the original Kindle Fire nor its upcoming Kindle Fire HD have GPS capabilities, though many will be able to take advantage of location services using a Wi-Fi connection.
In developed nations Wi-Fi can be leveraged very well, but when it comes to other countries where Wi-Fi networks are sparse, mapping which relies on Wi-Fi networks would be far more worthless. 

Amazon is steadily growing its ad-revenue stream through different means - first it was with screensavers on Kindle e-readers and now with mapping solutions the ads can be more target oriented, location based ads. Right from Google to Facebook to Apple to Amazon everyone is interested in getting their own pie with location based solutions. As always customer can be the king as he has every right to prefer one over another.


Popular posts from this blog

Turning off a Dell Laptop Monitor: Keyboard shortcut(s)

I am someone who is particular about power savings and I don't leave appliances powered on when not in use. The same applies to computing devices - be it a smartphone or a PC/Laptop. I power off the desktop monitor when I step out for a tea break or hit Fn+F2 on my Lenovo laptop that turns off the display. Recently, I got a Dell Laptop and I was surprised to discover that Dell does not provide any shortcut to turn off the display. This led to some exploration and I found two ways to achieve that which are outlined below - 

Resolving INS-20802: Oracle Net Configuration Assistant failed error on Windows 10

I was all excited about the migration to Windows 10 until I had to install Oracle client on it. The Oracle client installation used to fail miserably at the last stage with this error named INS-20802.

SSL VPN: Configuring and Using Forticlient on Ubuntu, creating a Launcher

Is your primary OS at home Linux and do you use Windows only to connect to your work PC over VPN or to attend meetings?  Do you often wish to connect to your work VPN from a Linux PC?  If your answer is 'Yes' to the above questions, I have an answer if your workplace uses Fortinet SSL VPN. Note that it's possible to connect to Fortinet and other VPNs like Cisco VPN from Linux through the inbuilt network manager by installing additional tools but this post would focus on using the standard Forticlient for accessing the resources on your work network. Obtaining Forticlient The most important thing to note w.r.t. using Forticlient for Ubuntu (or any Linux distro) is to note that the client is not publicly available for download from the official website. You will have to ask your IT department to download the client for you, in case they haven't provided it.