Maps API

Dear Lazyweb, I want to display a heat map of zip codes. I think "GeoCharts markers" might be the answer, but I am lost in an API key maze.

Is there a non-crazypants explanation of how to set this crap up?

I seem to have an API key. I think it is restricted in the way they said I should. I still get: "Geocoding Service: This API key is not authorized to use this service or API. For more information on authentication and Google Maps JavaScript API services please see: [utterly unhelpful URL]."

Update: I got it working. The answer is "Fuck Google", and use OpenLayers instead. With that, plus these zip code KML files, I was able to pretty easily build an internal tool that displays our ticket sales on a map, based on billing address. It was like 80 lines of code (plus self-hosting 300 MB of geometry files) and spits out a zoomable map like this:

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5 Responses:

  1. tpt says:


    I'm not sure if this would help at all or is it suitable for your particular problem, but since Google can be a pain most of the time there is a neat alternative in OpenLayers with no API key shenanigans.



    • jwz says:

      This looks pretty cool, but I don't see a way to turn a zip code (or even a street address) into a map coordinate. Given that their maps have street names on them, the data must be in there, right? Maybe I'm expected to provide my own KML file of zip code boundaries? I found this gigantic thing...

    • jwz says:

      Well, I got it working, thanks for the tip! Still seems weird that I have to bring my own zip code geometry, though.

      • tpt says:

        Hey, no problem. :-)
        I had a similar problem with zip codes and I resolved it by supplying my own data to OpenLayers (after unsuccessfully trying to use Google and Yahoo). However, I used the data set from here:
        Maybe this also will be helpful.

  2. Be very careful using Google Maps, they changed their pricing a few years ago and you can easily find yourself with a multi-$hundred bill for not that much usage.