How to Use Google Maps Android API Utility Library in Android Studio

Google Maps Android API utility library (the github repo and the documentation) supplies multiple cool features, including

  • Marker clustering — handles the display of a large number of points
  • Heat maps — display a large number of points as a heat map
  • IconGenerator — display text on your Markers
  • Poly decoding and encoding — compact encoding for paths, interoperability with Maps API web services
  • Spherical geometry — for example: computeDistance, computeHeading, computeArea
  • KML — displays KML data (Caution: Beta!)
  • GeoJSON — displays and styles GeoJSON data

A simple documentation about the usage of these features based on a demo can be found in Google Developers page Google Maps Android API Utility Library. And you can also refer to the javadoc.

When I tried to use the library in my Android Studio (Windows OS) project, I met some problems. It is not as simple as the document describes. A reference for setting up in Eclipse can be found in the Google Maps Android API Utilities Setup.

As we know, we have three ways to use a library in Android Studio project: Module dependency, Remote binary dependency and Local binary dependency. (Go to Configure Gradle Builds for detail). See the following code that we can use in the module build.gradle, not the project build.gradle

dependencies {
    // Module dependency
    compile project(":lib")

    // Remote binary dependency
    compile ''

    // Local binary dependency
    compile fileTree(dir: 'libs', include: ['*.jar'])

I use the Module dependency method successfully in my project, but failed with the other two methods. Let’s go to the details.

Module Dependency (Succeeded)

  • In your project, New –> Module –> Android Library, name it with library (not a googd name).
  • Go to the exploror, go to /library, delete all the files and folders there.
  • Go to the library folder in the repository you downloaded from android-maps-utils. Copy all the files and folders, and paste them into your own library folder.
  • Open build.gradle under your own module, under dependencies element, add compile project(':library').
  • Sync your project, build and run. Success!

Remote Binary Dependency (Failed)

The github page suggested this way by

dependencies {
    compile ''

But I just can not find the path <Android SDK>/extras/google/m2repository/com/google/ I am sure that I already installed the Google Repository by SDK manager.

Local Binary Dependency (Failed)

To use this way, I tried:

  • put the library-debug.aar in to the libs folder in my module from <library/build/output/aar/ in Android Studio project exploror view.
  • add compile fileTree(dir: 'libs', include: ['*.aar']) into my module build.gradle file, dependencies element.

Seems that Android studio doesn’t support .aar type library.

So I changed to the following way:

  • unzip the library-debug.aar file, and copy the class.jar file into the libs folder in my module.
  • add compile fileTree(dir: 'libs', include: ['*.jar']) in to my module build.gradle file, dependencies element.
  • Build passed, but crashed when I run it. I didn’t go into it. Maybe the library need some resource that is in the .aar file, which is not in the class.jar file. Just guess.