I signed up for a Google Maps Key to begin playing around with it. Much to my displeasure, you must provide a Web address to which the map is, well, mapped. Then, you are only allowed to use it for that address. That’s all fine and good in theory, but it makes it impossible to run the examples locally. Every time you want to try something out you have to upload the example. Pain in the butt.

Another difficulty: there’s no way to retrieve the geo coordinates of any particular place. Sure, if you know the coordinates you can place markers on the map, but what if you don’t? I did manage to find this service that returns the important information given a zip code, but I have yet to find one that does it on a street basis. Anyone know of any?

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.