Beginning Google Maps with What?

Over the past two months—since Beginning Google Maps Applications hit shelves—we’ve had a handful of basic questions about PHP, CSS and SQL. I just want to clear up a few misconceptions that people may have about the content of our book so that everyone can get the most out of reading it.

Beginning Google Maps Applications with PHP and AJAX focuses primarily on building web applications using Google Maps and AJAX. We cover many aspects both novice and professional and attempt to give a very solid understanding of what is possible and what might be possible given enough time and effort.

As is stated on the back cover, and in the Apress roadmap, you need at least a basic understanding of PHP, SQL, Javascript, DOM and CSS to get the most out of our examples and code. To cover all of these topics in enough detail to do anything interesting with maps we’d need a book that was 1000 pages long and we’d probably have never finished writing it, nor would you want to read it. But more importantly, many other resources are available that cover these foundation technologies, including online ones such as the PHP Manual, and W3Schools’ CSS section.

If you’re more comfortable with paper references, we suggest the following books as a primer to ours:

Other similar books will certainly suffice as will practical experience with all of the technologies mentioned above. We do make an attempt to thoroughly cover AJAX as it relates to building map applications, but if you want to go beyond maps with AJAX you’ll have another reason to buy the AJAX book above.

Readers we’ve pointed to these books have reported great success with them and subsequently with the content in our book, so we have no hesitation on recommending them in general.

We certainly don’t want to scare away any potential buyers, but we also don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that this is a general beginners book that will teach you everything. It will certainly teach you everything you need to know about Google Maps, but the underlying technologies that glue everything together are assumed. Or, if you’re a competent coder in other domains (Java, Python, C++, etc.), this book may spark your interest to learn more about the power of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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