Incorporating Google Maps to the Java desktop

Rob Terpilowski discusses how he and his architect team brought Google Maps to the Java desktop in this video from JavaOne 2014.

JavaScript APIs are more popular than ever, especially now given the fact that so many organizations are now making their back-end services available through RESTful APIs that can be easily invoked by a Web browser. But what are organizations to do when they want to take a popular, Web-based API and integrate it into a more traditional Java desktop type of application?

This was the exact challenge that Software Architect Rob Terpilowski ran into when his employer, Lynden Inc., tasked him and his team with creating a software application that could track incoming and outgoing traffic. "We wanted a way to display graphically on a map where freight was going," said Terpilowski. "But we didn't want reinvent the wheel by creating our own mapping component."

The solution came in the form of what you might call a hybrid, desktop and Web-based application in which JavaFX was used to wrap around the various Google Maps JavaScript calls. The product of these efforts was subsequently embedded within the desktop application, and as a result, the desktop application was able to provide full Google Maps capabilities.

And what's more, the associated API that the team developed allowed other developers to enhance the maps, adding way points and pin drop functionality. In fact, the code provides so much functionality that it has been open sourced and has been garnering a great deal of attention and downloads from the GitHub site where it is hosted.

View and listen to the associated video to hear more about the challenges and tribulations Terpilowski and his team endured in their work to bring Google Maps to the Java desktop.


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