Dreamforce has wrapped up and I can focus on distributing some of the very cool work that we built during the run up to Dreamforce.    One of the great projects that we built for this year’s conference was the Google Map and Earth project, using Visualforce components and Apex code.  The team at Salesforce Foundation alerted me to the need for this project, and then it sort of took on a life of it’s own; I love it when that happens.   At the highest level, these simple classes, pages and components show off the very cool new technology from Google that allows running Google Earth directly in the browser. 

I presented a session at Dreamforce along with Scott Hemmeter from Arrowpointe, and Ossama Alami from Google.  Much of this work was shown there and if you missed Dreamforce, you did not miss your chance to review and download the source code.  Picture_1

You can read all about the new Google Earth for the browser feature on the Google Earth API site.   

What we have done with this project is employ the newest features of Visualforce, known as Standard Set Controllers to allow end users to build lists using the normal List View features of the Account Tab, and then access these lists of accounts directly in Visualforce.

This is amazingly powerful, and allows practically any grouping of accounts to be constructed and mapped.  Now the map can appear in a Visualforce page using either Google Maps or Google Earth plugin to display your accounts.
There is even a Visualforce page and Apex Class to generate raw KML files for use with the popular (and fascinating) Google Earth desktop client. 

As usual, the code is hosted on code.google.com and the project listing is found on Force.com Code Share starting today, check it out.
This is just the beginning of what is possible by combining Visualforce, Apex and Google Maps.  What will you build?

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