Google has today announced new features to its Maps API that make its previously launched Styled Maps feature much more customizable. With this change, developers can now do things like specify precise colors, adjust line widths and control stroke styles, creating an entirely different look and feel.

To get started, check out the (dated-looking) Styled Maps Wizard. It’s easy to use, and will likely make it harder for your users to recognize what map service you’re using in the first place. Most importantly, it will allow for some extra flexibility when it comes to making your maps match your site.

Google has pointed out some noteworthy examples of styled maps, including the Submarine Cable Map, the NY Times, Map of the Dead, The Global Transition to a New Economy and Fata Morgana.

Screen Shot 2012 06 29 at 11.25.57 AM 520x279 Google Maps API now allows for better looking maps with more customization

More specifically, here’s exactly what you can do, from Thor Mitchell, Product Manager at Google Maps API:

  • You can now specify a precise color for features as an RGB value in addition to the current adjustment filters for hue, saturation, lightness, and gamma.
  • You can now style the outline stroke of features separately from the interior fill, and the label text separately from any icon
  • You can now adjust the width of line features such as roads, rivers and also the width of feature outlines.

Screen Shot 2012 06 29 at 11.24.16 AM 520x383 Google Maps API now allows for better looking maps with more customization

For more, check out the announcement blog post, Google’s developer community / support channels and the Styling section of the Maps API documentation.