Map Tour is an app that allows the user to select a location from the list picker. When a destination is selected, the activity starter component is used to launch Google maps and shows the chosen location on the map. This tutorial introduces how to use a list picker and introduces how to use an activity starter to launch another application outside of the Map Tour app.
- Create an App that displays locations on a Google Map.
- Use App Invento'r List Picker component to select from a menu of items.
- Use App Inventor's Activity Starter component to start an Android activity.
- Become familiar with Application Programming Interfaces (API).
Map Tour Tutorial
Follow the video tutorial. To begin the lesson open the Map Tour Template. It provides the media you need for this project and a partial version of the User Interface. When the project opens, use the Save As option to rename it Map Tour.
Map Tour Notes
In this app, you made use of Google Maps, an existing Web application that was created by Google. It is typical of many web applications in that it provides ways that programmers can interface with it.
An Application Programming Interface or API, is a specification that describes exactly how programs can interact with each other. For example, in this case, the API specified that if you wanted to tell Google Maps how to go to a specific location on a map, you would code it as "geo:0,0?q=Eiffel Tower". In other words, it specified what information you need to provide and in what specific format.
In other words, if you want to interface with Google Maps, you would to follow the specifications set forth in the Google Maps API.
The Google Maps API provides documentation for programmers and app developers for how to interact with its application. The "geo" tag is an example of a URL parameter and the API contains lots of other parameters for controlling how the map would appear in your app. For example, you can control how far it zooms in and other features.
So, one interesting implication of this is that because of APIs, programmers see the Web very differently than other users. Rather than seeing it merely as something to view or to search, programmers see the Web as something they can control by using APIs provided by Google, Amazon, Twitter, and other Web companies.
Make sure that you do the Map Tour Self-check at this link and that you update your Google Site Portfolio