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Interactive Annual 19:

Google: More Than A Map

Launch Live Site

“Google Maps is possibly the Internet’s best accomplishment to date and More Than A Map tells that story well with developer stories and demos of its offerings.”
—Madison Wharton Marks

“Everyone has interfaced with the Google Maps API at some point. Still the king of its domain in every way.”
—Perry Fair

Overview: Showcasing the available APIs for Google Maps and the stories of developers using them, the demos on this site show the amazing features that developers can build into websites or apps through the use of Google’s Street View, 45-degree satellite imagery or heat maps. The concept behind the design was to get out of the way and let the beauty of Google Maps shine through—the star of this site is the technology. Intended to be enjoyed full-screen, everything that was extraneous to showcasing the technology was removed; users were left with only the tools necessary to navigate the site and interact with the demos.

  • • Google approached UPPERQUAD in July 2012 with an early demo; the team redesigned the user interface in August and the site launched in October 2012.
  • • Carlos Cuesta, product marketing manager from Google, attended all of the video shoots used on the site; he met with more than six developers on five continents in just eight days.
  • • The site generated quite a bit of buzz on Twitter among designers and developers as the #morethanamap hashtag got picked up and used.

Comments by Phil Ruppanner

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Initially, it was difficult to wrap our heads around the technology. We almost take Google Maps for granted in our lives, but there was a learning curve in understanding all the possibilities the API contains. Then, the challenge was to figure out how best to represent these visually.”

How did time constraints affect your final solution? “This project actually started out as a quick two-week engagement to work with an initial single-page design. However, we created a new concept to really allow the beauty of the product to come through, which was well received by the client and gave us more time (and breathing room).”


Haraldur Thorleifsson, art director
Carl Bean-Larson, graphic designer
Phil Ruppanner, creative director
Luke Mahe, Google, programmer
UPPERQUAD (San Francisco, CA), project design and development
Google, Inc., client

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