Introducing MultiMarker: The fastest way to add many hundreds or thousands of markers on Google Maps

At Google IO 2009, our fearless leader Sasha Aickin (my boss) demonstrated our high-performance Google Maps utility library to the world; we provided directions explaining how to code it, but we didn’t actually ship the code.

Today, I’m proud to announce that we’ve made our MultiMarker utility library code (formerly known as SuperMarker) available to everyone under the Apache License 2.0. As far as we know, it’s the fastest way to add many hundreds or thousands of markers on Google Maps.

HOW FAST IS IT?

Below, we compare the time required to add 1000 markers in four ways:

  1. V2 map using the default GMarker
  2. V2 map using Pamela Fox’s MarkerLight
  3. V3 map using the default google.maps.Marker
  4. Using our MultiMarker library

Note that the GMarker timings you see here were recorded by stopwatch, NOT by automated timer. Also note that these browsers were running on different machines, so you shouldn’t use this table to compare browsers with each other; just compare the columns within each row.

UPDATE: This table was updated on April 22nd to reflect the faster markers available in Google Maps v3.4 nightly.

V2 Gmarker V2 MarkerLight V3 Gmarker V3 MultiMarker
IE6 44 seconds 9.0 seconds 56 seconds 1.5s
IE7 42 seconds 6 seconds 3.5 seconds 1s
IE8 32 seconds 3.1 seconds 1.5 seconds <1s
IE9 3 seconds 0.9 seconds <1s <1s
FF4 5.1 seconds 1.2 seconds <1s <1s
GC10 2.4 seconds <1s <1s <1s
iPhone 4 40 seconds 6 seconds 3 seconds 2 seconds

 

As you can see, a speedup of 10-100x is possible using the MultiMarker technique, depending on which version of GMaps you’re using.

Try the examples for yourself:

Google Maps V2 Comparison Test
Google Maps V3 Comparison Test

Enjoy!

Discussion

  • Mike

    @Redfin,

    Great library. It's unclear to me, does the library support InfoWindows? (The ability to click on the marker icon to have a popup window show marker information)?

  • http://www.hacksandmore.com Umberto Bernardi

    Hello, first of all thank you for your job;
    I'm using this library to build a G.I.S. application for our company; I've made a little improvements to your library, if you are interested I can send it to you.

    Umberto

    http://www.hacksandmore.com

  • Ramin

    Sorry But the position of your fast markers are not accurate. When changing the zoom your markers change and it is not acceptable.

  • Nicholas McCready

    Will this library be updated? What about the possibility of moving it to github?