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RightMove renders property maps with Google

Cliff Saran

RightMove is the UK's biggest user of Google Maps and one of the largest users of the mapping software in the world.

The property site uses Google for property searches, allowing users to see the location of a property, or search a location for properties, where the map displays a pin with properties available.

"We are the largest user of Google Maps in the UK and have never had any performance issues," said Donal McBreen, application architect at RightMove.

Mapping is easy to add to a website, but he warned that users can find maps confusing. It took RightMove about eight months to get the user interface right. "Making it simple was the hard part," he said.

RightMove is limiting its use of mapping to three areas: showing the location of a property, showing properties in a region, and a function which allows users to draw a region on Google Maps, which is then used to search the RightMove database.

McBreen said that while embedding Google Maps on RightMove was easy, it was more complicated to put pins on a map and implement the draw region search. "We wrote our own Javascript to extend the Google API with a new layer for [property location] pins."

RightMove translates data from the Royal Mail postcode database to longitude and latitude numbers, which are fed into the Google Maps API.


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