Generating a URL and Signature to Create a Maps Web Snapshot

Create a Snapshot URL and generate a signature to validate the request.


You can use the Maps Web Snapshots service to retrieve static map images via a URL, in which you set the parameters that define the image. Begin by gathering your credentials, then create a snapshot URL using the parameters described in Create a Maps Web Snapshot. Next, generate a signature by signing the URL string with your credentials. Finally, append the signature parameter to your Snapshot URL setting its value to the signature that you generated.

Gather Credentials

All snapshot URLs must include a signature. To create your signature, gather the required credentials:

  • Your Apple Developer Team ID

  • The Key ID for a key with the MapKit JS service enabled

  • Your private key file (.p8) for the key

If you do not have a MapKit JS key, learn how to obtain one in Creating a Maps Identifier and a Private Key.

Create a Snapshot URL and Signature

Once you have your Team ID, Key ID, and private key file, use these credentials to generate a signature for a Maps Web Snapshots URL. You generate the signature using your credentials plus the snapshot URL request path and all query parameters, as described in Create a Maps Web Snapshot.

Using the query parameters to describe the characteristics of your map—such as its center, size, language, and so on—construct a snapshot URL. For example, this snapshot URL uses the center parameter to set the center point of the map image to Apple Park:

Add the teamID and keyID parameters to the URL, setting the values of the parameters to your own Team ID and Key ID. For example:<your_team_id>&keyId=<your_key_id>

To generate a signature, sign the string with your private key using a ES256 algorithm (also known as ECDSA using P-256 curve and SHA-256 hash algorithm). The signature must be Base64 URL-encoded.

The generated signature allows you to access the exact request path and query parameters used in the signing process. If you modify or reorder the query parameters, you must generate a new signature.

Append the Signature to a Maps Snapshot URL

Append the signature parameter to your snapshots URL, and set the value of this parameter to the signature you generated. The signature parameter should always be the final parameter in a snapshots URL, as in this example:<your_team_id>&keyId=<your_key_id>&signature=<your_generated_signature>

If the signature is the not the last query parameter, the request returns 401 Authorization Error.

Generate a Signed URL with Example Code

This example script uses JavaScript to do the following:

  • Read the private key file from the file system.

  • Define a sign function that creates a Snapshot URL and generates a signature for it.

  • Complete the Snapshots URL by appending the generated signature.

  • Call the sign function to return a Snapshots URL for a simple map centered on Apple Park.

// Required modules.
const { readFileSync } = require("fs");
const { sign } = require("jwa")("ES256");

/* Read your private key from the file system. (Never add your private key
 * in code or in source control. Always keep it secure.)
const privateKey = readFileSync("[file_system_path]");
// Replace the team ID and key ID values with your actual values.
const teamId = "[team ID]";
const keyId = "[key ID]";

// Creates the signature string and returns the full Snapshot request URL including the signature.
function sign(params) {
    const snapshotPath = `/api/v1/snapshot?${params}`;
    const completePath = `${snapshotPath}&teamId=${teamId}&keyId=${keyId}`;
    const signature = sign(completePath, privateKey);
    // In this example, the jwa module returns the signature as a Base64 URL-encoded string.

    // Append the signature to the end of the request URL, and return.
    return `${completePath}&signature=${signature}`;

// Call the sign function with a simple map request.

// The return value expected is: "/api/v1/snapshot?center=apple+park&teamId=[team ID]&keyId=[key ID]&signature=[base64_url_encoded_signature]"

See Also


Create a Maps Web Snapshot

Generate a map image with characteristics you provide in the query parameters and sign using your private key.

object Annotation

An object for a Snapshot URL that describes annotation characteristics.

object Overlay

A JSON object for a Snapshot URL that describes polyline overlay characteristics, including points for the overlay and styles such as width, color, and dash pattern.