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Fernandes, A. I., M. Goulão, and Armanda Rodrigues, "A Comparison of Maps Application Programming Interfaces", 16th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, AGILE 2013, Leuven, Belgium, May 14-17, 2013. Abstractagile2013fernandesetalcameraready.pdf

The development of web applications that manipulate geo-referenced information is often supported by Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), allowing a fast development cycle for high quality applications. APIs can be used by programmers with different expertise levels and choosing an adequate API may
have a dramatic impact on the productivity achieved by those programmers. Our goal is to compare maps APIs with respect to their usability. We compare three different APIs: the Google Maps JavaScript API, the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, and the OpenLayers JavaScript Mapping Library. Our comparison is supported by
a set of software metrics and is performed in two orthogonal ways: the comparison of three implementations of the same system prototype, each using one of the APIs under scrutiny; the comparison of the APIs specifications. The main results of the study are related to the size of the APIs, with the Google API being significantly smaller than the others.