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Author Topic: No more free maps at Google  (Read 2238 times)

Hot Rod Hootenanny

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No more free maps at Google
« on: May 06, 2018, 11:02:53 PM »

(Hows that for a misleading, attention grabbing headline?  :poke: :sombrero:)
Seriously, end of last week Google announced that they will start charging App/site developers for using their cartographic data.
https://developers.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-google-maps-platform.html
Already, James Baughn and his cohorts at Bridgehunter.com believe their future will have to exclude google.
http://bridgehunter.com/story/1220/
Unknown is what this change from google will do for Mob-Rule's county collecting site, Teresco's route mapping site, or even here.

Discussion welcomed.
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US 89

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 11:40:37 PM »

Travel Mapping uses OSM, not Google Maps, so I doubt it would be affected.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 11:45:18 PM »

I don't develop so I assume this doesn't affect me in the least.  But I will note two opinions.

First:  I don't expect to receive products and services for free.  I have always found the buildup of social media apps, where so many people assume others are somehow donating time and expertise and money and equipment (servers, etc.) for their free use to be ludicrous.  I'm not totally blowing off investigations where the use of personal data went beyond anything user agreed to, but anybody truly shocked that social media sites are making use of users' personal data for monetary gain, and that these sites are maybe going to have to start directly charging given the flavor-of-the-day outrage over use of said personal data, has had his/her head stuck in the sand for the past dozen years.  Here's the rule, folks:  If you're not paying for the product, YOU are the product.  You're not a customer.

Second, and having said I don't expect to receive free product:  If you're now going to charge for something, fucking own it and come right out and say you're charging for it.  This Google Developers blog post talks about how "exciting" all your "transformation" has been, and they're introducing a "series of updates," and they're "excited" again about a new platform to "streamline products and new industry solutions to help drive innovation," but only buried in the middle of the post is there any oh-by-the-way mention of charging for it.  (Ditto to just about any corporate communication to the media.)

So everybody's got me riled up and this particular issue doesn't even affect me. 
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 01:21:37 AM »

Travel Mapping uses OSM, not Google Maps, so I doubt it would be affected.
The raw data is copied off of OSM (and stored on GitHub for free public use), but the site uses the Google Maps API to display the actual points and maps (including the Mapnik, HERE, etc options) and will likely have to be rewritten to incorporate a new mapping component.

Seriously, Google can fuck right off with this change. They've been slowly ratcheting up the price of the Maps API for years now, but this represents a 10x price hike for many applications, pretty much squeezing out anything but the most basic student applications from the free tier. This isn't so much a problem for TM, who can pretty much hop to any service that plots points without incident, but Google remains pretty much the only game in town for (accurate) place name info, and many app devs who depend on this info are going to either have to pay up or significantly degrade or alter their services. This is in addition to moving a bunch of API names around for no good reason but to make things 'easier' (and probably remove features, but I haven't looked too deeply into it). The fact that these changes are presented as a benefit is particularly galling, serving as yet another example as to how Google has zero respect for developers.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 08:47:53 PM »

And even with TM, the loss of Google means no more street view.  It also means having to use the other providers, even though I've found that unclinched routes are harder to see with them (particularly US routes on Mapnik or ESRI, or anything in lightsalmon anywhere).
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Jim

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 09:03:52 PM »

It's not clear that there is any immediate effect on TM.  While we default to OSM map tiles, it's still the Google Maps API at the heart of all of the mapping functionality.  We do not use any of their location services or anything like that.  The information I've gathered so far is very vague and I have not yet been able to determine what portion of what will become the "free usage" for a project like this we typically use.  In any case, it is a priority to find usable alternatives in the near future to be safe.  Even if we typically use only a fraction of the free allocation most of the time, I don't want to be socked with a bill for a spike in usage, or worse yet because of some kind of DoS attack or whatever else might cause a sudden spike in TM's usage of Google services.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 04:46:53 PM »

My biggest issue is that this means that KMLMap/ClassyGMap probably won't work anymore.

I'll copy/paste my post from the Google Maps Sucks thread here:

I've been following this thread over the past few years, and I have to say that I agree with most if not all of the complaints.  I was reading the link that US71 posted, and now I'm really worried since it looks like removing keyless API access will break KMLMap/ClassyGMap.  I have a link to the old code that still has ClassyGMap branding in my bookmarks bar.  Unless I click the address in a search result, I don't even use maps.google.com.  Even if I do click the address, I usually switch to ClassyGMap.

Since I use an old version of Chrome (I don't like the interface changes in newer versions, yet another thing Google has messed up), Maps is broken for me, and it only supports Lite mode.  A few months ago, the sidebar that appears for a search result started closing itself as soon as the page loads.  Around the same time, they changed embeds to require holding [CTRL] while scrolling to zoom, but that also broke scrolling with the scroll wheel in regular Maps.  For me, I discovered that I actually have to hold [ALT] instead of [CTRL] to zoom on embedded maps.

According to Google, the reasoning behind holding [CTRL] to zoom is to prevent zooming on an embedded map while scrolling on a webpage.  I rarely encountered this issue, and if I did, I just scrolled while not hovering over the map, or dragged the scrollbar in Chrome.  Also, since I'm stuck in Lite mode, I can't even drag a route line on the map, but I can in ClassyGMap.

On a side note, I think that removing keyless access will break Street View embeds on the forum.

Lastly, why does Google keep breaking things?!  ClassyGMap (without all the bells and whistles of regular Maps) can use over 1 GB of RAM in Street View between the tab and GPU process, whereas the old Flash based viewer in Classic Maps used at most 500 MB between the tab and Flash plugin.

Maps isn't the only thing Google has broken.  YouTube's HTML5 player is a good idea, but is horribly broken.  When implemented correctly, HTML5 is great.  On YouTube, clicking in the video area or using the spacebar to pause can crash the tab.  Also, it's fairly common for videos to not play and endlessly buffer.  Since I'm using an old version of Chrome, I can right-click twice and open the MP4 video in a new tab, which still loads forever, but plays fine after removing the "pltype" parameter from the URL.

The latest thing I'm worried about is the Polymer redesign of YouTube.  When I clicked the link to try it, it was a mostly blank page with a few images and no video.  I noticed that YouTube channels have begun to have "disable_polymer=1" at the end of the URL, and that worries me.  Classic Maps had "output=classic", then it was gone, then YouTube had "nohtml5=1" which was removed, and that pattern tells me that the current YouTube design will eventually be removed.

Of course, Google's response to the glitches and errors I've mentioned in this post would be "upgrade your browser", but like I mentioned, I don't like the new Chrome design.  What about people that can't upgrade?  Imagine if the DOT or DMV said "your car is no longer compatible with the road network" and that you had to purchase a new car to continue driving.
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US71

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 04:50:33 PM »

(Hows that for a misleading, attention grabbing headline?  :poke: :sombrero:)
Seriously, end of last week Google announced that they will start charging App/site developers for using their cartographic data.
https://developers.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-google-maps-platform.html
Already, James Baughn and his cohorts at Bridgehunter.com believe their future will have to exclude google.
http://bridgehunter.com/story/1220/
Unknown is what this change from google will do for Mob-Rule's county collecting site, Teresco's route mapping site, or even here.

Discussion welcomed.


Cohorts? I prefer "contributor" .  :-|
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seicer

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 04:57:06 PM »

Eh, not a huge deal for most, as it provides a free tier until you hit a certain bandwidth. It really impacts developers - game devs, commercial entities, real estate mapping firms, etc. and those who piggybacked off of this service. Nothing is free - and Google Maps has always been (mostly) subsidized by its parent entity.
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roadman

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2018, 05:14:02 PM »

My biggest issue is that this means that KMLMap/ClassyGMap probably won't work anymore.

I'll copy/paste my post from the Google Maps Sucks thread here:

I've been following this thread over the past few years, and I have to say that I agree with most if not all of the complaints.  I was reading the link that US71 posted, and now I'm really worried since it looks like removing keyless API access will break KMLMap/ClassyGMap.  I have a link to the old code that still has ClassyGMap branding in my bookmarks bar.  Unless I click the address in a search result, I don't even use maps.google.com.  Even if I do click the address, I usually switch to ClassyGMap.

Since I use an old version of Chrome (I don't like the interface changes in newer versions, yet another thing Google has messed up), Maps is broken for me, and it only supports Lite mode.  A few months ago, the sidebar that appears for a search result started closing itself as soon as the page loads.  Around the same time, they changed embeds to require holding [CTRL] while scrolling to zoom, but that also broke scrolling with the scroll wheel in regular Maps.  For me, I discovered that I actually have to hold [ALT] instead of [CTRL] to zoom on embedded maps.

According to Google, the reasoning behind holding [CTRL] to zoom is to prevent zooming on an embedded map while scrolling on a webpage.  I rarely encountered this issue, and if I did, I just scrolled while not hovering over the map, or dragged the scrollbar in Chrome.  Also, since I'm stuck in Lite mode, I can't even drag a route line on the map, but I can in ClassyGMap.

On a side note, I think that removing keyless access will break Street View embeds on the forum.

Lastly, why does Google keep breaking things?!  ClassyGMap (without all the bells and whistles of regular Maps) can use over 1 GB of RAM in Street View between the tab and GPU process, whereas the old Flash based viewer in Classic Maps used at most 500 MB between the tab and Flash plugin.

Maps isn't the only thing Google has broken.  YouTube's HTML5 player is a good idea, but is horribly broken.  When implemented correctly, HTML5 is great.  On YouTube, clicking in the video area or using the spacebar to pause can crash the tab.  Also, it's fairly common for videos to not play and endlessly buffer.  Since I'm using an old version of Chrome, I can right-click twice and open the MP4 video in a new tab, which still loads forever, but plays fine after removing the "pltype" parameter from the URL.

The latest thing I'm worried about is the Polymer redesign of YouTube.  When I clicked the link to try it, it was a mostly blank page with a few images and no video.  I noticed that YouTube channels have begun to have "disable_polymer=1" at the end of the URL, and that worries me.  Classic Maps had "output=classic", then it was gone, then YouTube had "nohtml5=1" which was removed, and that pattern tells me that the current YouTube design will eventually be removed.

Of course, Google's response to the glitches and errors I've mentioned in this post would be "upgrade your browser", but like I mentioned, I don't like the new Chrome design.  What about people that can't upgrade?  Imagine if the DOT or DMV said "your car is no longer compatible with the road network" and that you had to purchase a new car to continue driving.
YouTube is even more messed up than Maps.  For one thing, it seems lately that one third to one half the recommended videos on my home page come up "This video removed because it violated YouTube policies."  If you've removed the video, then why are you showing it on my previews?
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 10:10:48 PM »

I guess ACME Mapper who use Google maps setup might switch to Mapquest or Bing maps.
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US71

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2018, 10:34:03 PM »

I guess ACME Mapper who use Google maps setup might switch to Mapquest or Bing maps.

Speaking of ACME, what's with that musical background they started recently?
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Scott5114

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2018, 04:17:45 AM »

Of course, Google's response to the glitches and errors I've mentioned in this post would be "upgrade your browser", but like I mentioned, I don't like the new Chrome design.

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seicer

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2018, 03:04:12 PM »

If you haven't been to http://mapper.acme.com/ in the past 2 days, you are in for a real treat. (Their blog post explains why.) The Google Maps interface no longer works the vast majority of the time. And as of today, I am no longer seeing the topographic maps. I am not sure what base map is showing but it has some colored lines and random symbols throughout - what is this map?
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2018, 04:16:05 PM »

It's affected another common site I use too, mapcustomizer.com. It now uses OSM, but there is, of course, no way to access any aerial photographs.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2018, 04:53:46 PM »

If you haven't been to http://mapper.acme.com/ in the past 2 days, you are in for a real treat. (Their blog post explains why.) The Google Maps interface no longer works the vast majority of the time. And as of today, I am no longer seeing the topographic maps. I am not sure what base map is showing but it has some colored lines and random symbols throughout - what is this map?

I get a blank page and a message  This page can't load Google Maps correctly.
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vdeane

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2018, 09:06:25 PM »

If you haven't been to http://mapper.acme.com/ in the past 2 days, you are in for a real treat. (Their blog post explains why.) The Google Maps interface no longer works the vast majority of the time. And as of today, I am no longer seeing the topographic maps. I am not sure what base map is showing but it has some colored lines and random symbols throughout - what is this map?
Pretty sure that's Open Cycle Map.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2018, 11:28:37 AM »

MyTopo http://www.mytopo.com/maps/  still show Google maps for now.

Here WeGo (or Herewego) then I mentionned in another thread http://wego.here.com would had been a good substitute to Google Maps if they have the street and road listing updated. They had updated satellite shots, now if only they have the option to remove the labels from satellite shots like AcmeMapper did.

Let's see if Bing Maps and/or Mapquest will jump on this void field left by Google.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2018, 02:49:41 PM »

Another step toward Google becoming evil.
Bastards ruined my favorite mapping site.  RIP Acme...
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2018, 04:23:44 PM »

The whole Google Maps API charging situation is also why we no longer use Google Maps at TravelMapping.
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Jim

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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2018, 04:34:01 PM »

The whole Google Maps API charging situation is also why we no longer use Google Maps at TravelMapping.

Google's communication on this was so cheery yet vague (all kinds of great benefits to me!), and I could never figure out a way to tell what Travel Mapping's previous usage levels were to know if we would be safe from unexpected charges under the new rules.  I have no problem with Google wanting to make money on their maps project, but the way this was done makes me tend to agree that they are becoming more and more Evil.

I'd recommend other affected projects to check out Leaflet.  The transition was fairly painless for Travel Mapping.  Yes, we lost some Google-specific functionality (in particular, it's against Google's TOS to display their map tiles outside of their API), but I feel like we also gained some functionality.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2019, 06:13:52 PM »

Time to bump this thread. 

I founded by luck another site called Satellite.pro who show Google Maps, OpenStreetMaps, Apple Maps, Esri, Yandex and Mapbox who could be a interesting alternative to Acme Mapper. Here a showing of Quebec City and Levis.
https://satellites.pro/#B46.741508,-71.277752,13


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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2019, 05:10:17 AM »

(Hows that for a misleading, attention grabbing headline?  :poke: :sombrero:)
Seriously, end of last week Google announced that they will start charging App/site developers for using their cartographic data.
https://developers.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-google-maps-platform.html
Already, James Baughn and his cohorts at Bridgehunter.com believe their future will have to exclude google.
http://bridgehunter.com/story/1220/
Unknown is what this change from google will do for Mob-Rule's county collecting site, Teresco's route mapping site, or even here.

Discussion welcomed.

I really hope this does not hurt https://www.pure-gas.org/ .
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2019, 06:34:12 AM »

I don't expect to receive products and services for free.  I have always found the buildup of social media apps, where so many people assume others are somehow donating time and expertise and money and equipment (servers, etc.) for their free use to be ludicrous.  I'm not totally blowing off investigations where the use of personal data went beyond anything user agreed to, but anybody truly shocked that social media sites are making use of users' personal data for monetary gain, and that these sites are maybe going to have to start directly charging given the flavor-of-the-day outrage over use of said personal data, has had his/her head stuck in the sand for the past dozen years.  Here's the rule, folks:  If you're not paying for the product, YOU are the product.  You're not a customer.

(I know I'm responding to an older post.)

This is so true. If you are receiving a product for free, the product isn't the product. You are the product. Being sold to someone else.
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Re: No more free maps at Google
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2019, 12:49:39 PM »

(Hows that for a misleading, attention grabbing headline?  :poke: :sombrero:)
Seriously, end of last week Google announced that they will start charging App/site developers for using their cartographic data.
https://developers.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-google-maps-platform.html
Already, James Baughn and his cohorts at Bridgehunter.com believe their future will have to exclude google.
http://bridgehunter.com/story/1220/
Unknown is what this change from google will do for Mob-Rule's county collecting site, Teresco's route mapping site, or even here.

Discussion welcomed.

I really hope this does not hurt https://www.pure-gas.org/ .
I'm guessing this is the reason for the "this page can't load Google Maps correctly" error.  In any case, given that this happened a while ago, whatever effect it had on the site probably already occurred.
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