mapNinja SDK - Useful Networks, a developer of location-based products and services for mobile and Web platforms, has just introduced mapNinja, a touch-enabled map viewer that App Store developers can use to create location-based apps for iPhone and iPod touch.
The mapNinja SDK gives developers the ability to embed an interactive map viewer into their native iPhone/iPod touch apps in just three lines of code, the company claims. The idea is that the app stays open, the user remains engaged and the dev controls the experience.
Prior to the introduction of the mapNinja SDK, iPhone devs had limited ways they could incorporate mapping into their iPhone and iPod touch apps, Useful Networks says. Previous options included shutting down the app and linking to the native map app on the iPhone; using static map images that did not provide for interactivity; or investing resources in creating a map viewer from scratch.
“The mapNinja SDK finally makes it easy for developers to take advantage of the remarkable potential for both location-centric apps on the iPhone, as well as adding location and maps as a convenient feature in those instances when location is not necessarily the core focus of the app,” says Brian Levin, CEO of Useful Networks.
Key features of mapNinja include touch-enabled pan and zooming, customizable background loading tiles, the ability to display multiple map types (satellite, road, hybrid), vector and image graphics overlays, developer documentation and continuous re-centering in auto-tracking mode.
Developers can also include map markers and overlays such as images (pushpins, bubbles and icons); vector drawings (circles, line and polygons) and text.
The mapNinja SDK also includes connectivity to four different mapping providers: Microsoft Virtual Earth, CloudMade and Useful Networks mapping services, giving developers the choice of up to 12 different map styles.
There are a number of licensing options, including a no-fee, ad-supported license, available for commercial and indie iPhone development shops.