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Generating Static Images of Google Maps

Generating Image Requests with Smarty

As an added bonus, I've included here a Smarty plug-in you can use to easily generate images. Without giving too much of a description, using this plug-in you will be able to use the following in your PHP code:

Listing 3 Sample usage of the getgooglemapimageurl plug-in (listing-3.tpl)
<img src="{getgooglemapimageurl w=500 h=300 latitude=$lat longitude=$lng key=$key}" />

Listing 4 shows the code for the getgooglemapimageurl plug-in, which belongs in a file called function.getgooglemapimageurl.php in your Smarty plug-ins directory.

Note: This code comes as-is with little description, and is intended for users with some knowledge of implementing Smarty plug-ins. For more information on Smarty, you can refer to the Smarty section of PhpRiot
Listing 4 The getgooglemapimageurl plug-in for Smarty (function.getgooglemapimageurl.php)
    function smarty_function_getgooglemapimageurl($params, $smarty)
        $baseUrl = '';
        $defaults = array(
            'key'        => '',
            'longitude'  => '',
            'latitude'   => '',
            'w'          => 0,
            'h'          => 0,
            'type'       => '',
        $types = array('roadmap', 'mobile');
        foreach ($defaults as $k => $v) {
            if (!array_key_exists($k, $params))
                $params[$k] = $v;
        if (strlen($params['key']) == 0)
            $smarty->trigger_error('getgooglemapimageurl: you must specify your Google Maps API key', E_USER_NOTICE);
        $params['w'] = min(512, (int) $params['w']);
        $params['h'] = min(512, (int) $params['h']);
        if ($params['w'] <= 0)
            $smarty->trigger_error('getgooglemapimageurl: you must specify the map width in pixels', E_USER_NOTICE);
        if ($params['h'] <= 0)
            $smarty->trigger_error('getgooglemapimageurl: you must specify the map height in pixels', E_USER_NOTICE);
        // setup the required parameters
        $url = sprintf('%s?key=%s&size=%dx%d', $baseUrl, $params['key'], $params['w'], $params['h']);
        // specify the map type
        if (in_array($params['type'], $types))
            $url .= sprintf('&maptype=%s', $params['type']);
        $url .= sprintf('&markers=%lf,%lf', $params['latitude'], $params['longitude']);
        return $url;

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