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A library greatly enhancing the features of the Google Maps external library: Effortless map annotating, gesture support, map callout support, built-in “user tracking” mode, etc.

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Polaris is a framework greatly enhancing the Google Maps external framework. It aims to:

  • Make the user's life easier
  • Make the developer's life easier
  • Make the resulting map look polished and natural

Polaris Sample screenshot

Here are some interesting links you can use to discover Polaris:

  • Polaris Sample: A demo application demonstrating some features of the Polaris. It is available on the Google Play).
  • Meet Polaris, a map library for Android: A blog post I wrote to introduce the first version of the library. It contains a great description of the main features included in Polaris. You can read it on my personal blog).


  • Gesture support
  • Effortless map annotating
  • Map callout variable anchor positioning
  • Built-in “user tracking” mode
  • Automatic built-in zoom controls
  • Natural map callouts transitions
  • Additional listeners
  • And many more!


Polaris is an extension of the Google Maps External Library and hence suffers from a lot of its limitations and bugs (PolarisMapView must be used in a MapActivity, only one instance of PolarisMapView is allowed per MapActivity, etc.).

While reducing the complexity of the library, Polaris made the use of Overlay almost useless by managing main Overlays such as MyLocationOverlay and ItemizedOverlay internally. As a consequence, you must never use the getOverlays() method. PolarisMapView provides replacement methods such as addOverlay(Overlay), removeOverlay(Overlay), etc.


  1. Include the PolarisMapView widget in your layout.

    <com.cyrilmottier.polaris.PolarisMapView android:id="@+id/polaris_map_view" android:layout_height="match_parent" android:layout_width="match_parent" android:apiKey="[YOUR_API_KEY]" />

  2. In your onCreate method, add/find the PolarisMapView to your layout.

    mPolarisMapView = (PolarisMapView) findViewById(
  3. Bind your MapActivity's onStart and onStop method to the PolarisMapView equivalent.

    @Override protected void onStart() { super.onStart(); mPolarisMapView.onStart(); }

    @Override protected void onStop() { super.onStop(); mPolarisMapView.onStop(); }

###Including In Your Project

The Polaris library is presented as an Android library project. You can include this project by referencing it as a library project in Eclipse or ant.

###Building the sample application

Using the Google Maps external library requires registering your signing key to Google. When doing so, Google generates an API key you must pass to MapView when instanciating. For obvious reasons, you must keep these keys private.

Logically, the sample application doesn't include API keys. In order to run the project correctly you must add a file in the package containing your own API keys:


public final class LocalConfig {

    private LocalConfig() {

    public static final String GOOGLE_MAPS_API_KEY_RELEASE = "<YOUR_RELEASE_KEY>";
    public static final String GOOGLE_MAPS_API_KEY_DEBUG = "<YOUR_DEBUG_KEY>";


Developed By

Cyril Mottier -



Copyright (C) 2012 Cyril Mottier (

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.


A library greatly enhancing the features of the Google Maps external library: Effortless map annotating, gesture support, map callout support, built-in “user tracking” mode, etc.




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