Static maps are a simple and user-friendly way to show the location of one or two places at a time. Say you're displaying a list of store locations and you want to show a small map when the user selects a location. All you do is pass the image dimensions, a zoom level, and a list of "markers" (each marker has a latitude and longitude) to the Static Maps service. For example:
The resulting image can then be embedded in your view:
<img src="http://maps.google.com/maps/api/staticmap?sensor=true&zoom=14 &size=250x175&markers=color:red%7C42.363491,-71.099356&scale=1" width="250" height="175"/>
See the Static Maps API documentation for a complete rundown. And check out a working example in the App Cloud reference app for phones. (It uses the Google Places API to look up coffee shops based on the user's current location.)
p.s. Get more tips and tricks (and share your own) by joining the Brightcove App Cloud discussion group on Google.