+2
Under review

Can we get an integrated alternative for Google Maps since it's no longer free?

ShorthornAdam 3 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 2 months ago 9

College newspaper here -- we resumed publication after summer break and noticed that all of the maps on articles were not working (grayed out with a "for development use only" message).  It looks like Google Maps has gone to a paid usage model: https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/


I had to go through a bunch of rigmarole of setting up a Cloud platform app, enabling a tons of APIs and putting in a credit card since usage is no longer completely free. It was annoying because we don't do any cloud computing and don't need any of the datacenter-type features.  They do provide $200 of free credits every month, but there is no easy way that I could tell to stop it from charging you $20 or $200 or $2000 or $20000 if the site gets DDOS'd or has a huge traffic spike, or to set a $199.99 max usage and then have it disable itself.

Would you all please start investigating the feasibility of having integrated maps that use a free/open alternative, like maybe OpenStreetMap?  


I would like to remove my credit card from Google and not have to think about it.

 

Answer

Answer
Under review

We've been talking to a few people about this. Obviously it is not something we can control or could have controlled, but we are very sorry for the inconvenience.


As for alternatives, we did look into a few and there were some pretty significant disadvantages to the free alternatives, in addition to the extensive time it would take to re-develop the tons of map-related features we have presently.


That being said, this is a very valid concern. Do you (or anyone else reading this, for that matter) have any numbers you can share about what the impact is currently? Are you getting charges now? Do you have any usage data?


We were looking at possibly new ways we could reduce the API calls as well... so depending on usage, and where the usage was coming from, maybe there are things we can do to reduce usage. Any information you could share would help!


I will revisit with my team about the free alternatives as well, in case things have changed.


(Side note: I will also see if there is an API that will give you usage... maybe we could actually turn it off at a certain point. That's an interesting idea as well.)


Thanks!

Answer
Under review

We've been talking to a few people about this. Obviously it is not something we can control or could have controlled, but we are very sorry for the inconvenience.


As for alternatives, we did look into a few and there were some pretty significant disadvantages to the free alternatives, in addition to the extensive time it would take to re-develop the tons of map-related features we have presently.


That being said, this is a very valid concern. Do you (or anyone else reading this, for that matter) have any numbers you can share about what the impact is currently? Are you getting charges now? Do you have any usage data?


We were looking at possibly new ways we could reduce the API calls as well... so depending on usage, and where the usage was coming from, maybe there are things we can do to reduce usage. Any information you could share would help!


I will revisit with my team about the free alternatives as well, in case things have changed.


(Side note: I will also see if there is an API that will give you usage... maybe we could actually turn it off at a certain point. That's an interesting idea as well.)


Thanks!

Christine,

How can we disable tGoogle Maps function on our Marketplace listings? I am unable to find any settings or docs referencing where to turn off/on. Thanks!

Laura

Hi Laura, 


We have a custom property for disabling this per business coming next week but it sounds like you might prefer to shut them all off globally. Is this correct? 

Hi Phil,


Yes, that's correct. Could you advise? I have a support ticket in for our aikenstandard.com domain.

+1

Oh yeah, I know it's not any of your doing! I will have to dig into the stats and see what kind of numbers it is showing.  I confess almost total ignorance about how the various maps we use would be categorized in all of their APIs (which are static, which are dynamic, etc).  

We would still need to use Google Maps for data projects and things like that, but the vast majority of our maps are just the simple little one-pin geocode ones you can add to the side of an article from the article editor in TownNews. It might be nice to have the option to use OpenStreetMap for those kinds of uses.

Christine,

How can we disable tGoogle Maps function on our Marketplace listings? I am unable to find any settings or docs referencing where to turn off/on. Thanks!

Laura

"I will revisit with my team about the free alternatives as well, in case things have changed."

Any updates to share Christine?

We did meet with Google about this, and they are going to recommend a few alternatives to us. We are still researching other alternatives as well, but it doesn't seem like there is a really obvious replacement.

Open Street Map won't fit the bill?