Maps URLs on mobile Safari

Feb 2nd, 2009

I’ve been experimenting a little bit with maps urls on the iphone. If you’ve read Apple’s web developer guidelines, you’ll know that URLs of this form will automatically redirect to the maps application:

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia

This is fine if you just want to highlight one particular location (with no custom metadata), but what if you want to do something more interesting, like display a KML file? You can load these easily from the maps application, so why can’t you link to them from a web browser? The URL guidelines explicitly say that the KML part of a query string will be discarded, and indeed it is. What is a web developer to do? Resort to undocumented behaviour, of course! At least in version 2.2 of the iphone software, URLs which request a “maps” resource with the appropriate parameters will automatically load the appropriate KML file in the maps application:

[Map link][2]
Map link

Scotia [2]: maps://?geocode=&q=