Does anyone have experience with embedded maps for Mobile Web? (NOT APP)

My experience is that it introduces another frame into the page with a separate set of scrolling behavior - not a good thing. I would prefer to replicate a map app user experience i.e. pins for location, full frame map within the web browser frame.

Sadly, looking through the Google Maps V3 API demos has not been enlightening. Are there better Mobile Web mapping experiences than GMaps that can be implemented?

In an ideal world I don't want to break my user's journey by sending them out to their phone's map application, hence the question.

  • This may well depend on your location as in some countries there may be services available which are based on a national mapping service - for example, in the UK Ordnance Survey licenses it's map data and provides either a limited free service (for free services) called OpenSpace (built on OpenLayers) or a Pro version with a SLA. I have tried using it on mobile web and it seems fine but don't know if it can fit your requirements as stated. May 15, 2012 at 20:13
  • Example: elliotthunston.co.uk/maps/tfl-traffic-cameras May 15, 2012 at 20:19

3 Answers 3


OpenStreetMap is relatively new but it has been solid enough for Apple to use in the new iPhoto iPad app. There are a number of JavaScript libraries that you might be able to take advantage of for mobile web stuff.

They also have more customization options and layers available than Google Maps so you might be able to tailor it to your users a bit more.


Depending on exactly what you are trying to do, GoogleMaps API can also output a static image (or at least used to be able to...I have not checked in a while). Maybe you could get away with just using a map image rather than the fully interactive map? In that case, you could still build a link on the image that would point to the interactive map so that your users could get navigation functionality if desired.

  • It's a fair point but unfortunately we would need directions, it looks like I'm going to have to break the journey and send the user to the built in mapping app. May 17, 2012 at 8:35
  • It might actually be beneficial to eventually send users to the mapping app. Now that Google's rolling out set Home and Work locations in Google Maps, Android users might have a significantly easier time getting directions from the mapping app compared to a web map. google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/05/… May 17, 2012 at 12:59

We encountered a similar problem when creating our mapping framework for the BC Government. Our research showed that our clients wanted the same functionality on mobile devices that they were used to on their desktop. Thus being able to filter on the content, get rich InfoWindows, find your location, get directions to a location, among others were all requirements that needed to be met on mobile platforms. Building stand alone mobile apps for various phone OS was out of the question, thus we explore a solution using the mobile web.

We used CSS to completely change the layout of the map depending on the users device.

The BC CourtFinder is a good example of this. http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/dmf-viewer/?siteid=7236705125214319180

BC CourtFinder Desktop mode

You can fake the mobile view on your desktop by adding &mode=m

http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/dmf-viewer/?siteid=7236705125214319180&mode=m BC CourtFinder Mobile mode

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