Announcing the new NJPB Maps

-PRIDE-

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Great job on the map...it's awesome. I currently have a moto e 4+ Android.....only thing that doesn't seem to work so far is the find me option
 

Ben Ruset

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The find me thing is buggy. Either you don't have location services turned on on your phone or the old as hell Google Maps API I use has issues.
 

Ben Ruset

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What is the Find Me thing supposed to do? I thought you needed a special API key from Google if you wanted a "live" map view.
It uses the Google API to ask your browser where you're located and then adjusts the map to center on that. But I'm using an older version of the API and they probably dropped support for that since it won't work in Safari or Chrome on my desktop either.
 

Boyd

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So I'm wondering.... is this going to kill NJPB maps? As you know, I am not much of a Google fan, which is one reason I got rid of the interactive LIDAR map on my own site. Perhaps it's time to make the change to OpenLayers?

http://geoawesomeness.com/developers-up-in-arms-over-google-maps-api-insane-price-hike/

"on June 11, 2018. Google is making sweeping changes to its Maps API products. And by sweeping, we mean shocking."

"You can no longer use the APIs in the first place unless you create a billing account and hand-over your credit card information to Google. This is applicable to all users – even those who have a simple map embedded on their website’s contact page."
 

Ben Ruset

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They probably want to have something on file so that they can bill you if you hammer their API. Will it kill NJPB maps? Hopefully not. I'll have to see what the impact will be.
 

Boyd

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Does every request for a map tile involve an API call? From the article above

"for those who use Dynamic Maps, $200 will take care of only 28,000 free page loads per month. Why the emphasis on per month? Because right now, users get 25,000 free page loads per day. Let that sink in."
 

Teegate

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I would hate to see NJPB Map so away. It is a wonderful resource that I use all the time.
 
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Boyd

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I think the same sort of thing could be implemented with OpenLayers, although you wouldn't have Google's map or their satellite imagery. The regular map could easily be replaced by OpenStreetMap and I think you could use the free USDA NAIP imagery in lieu of Google Satellite. But of course, it could take awhile to make the transition and Google's policy change is only about two weeks away.

Ben will need to look at the NJPB Google page loads and see just how serious this really is. Off the top of my head, I'd say it looks bad, but I don't have access to the data needed to really understand the issue. Regardless, it seems risky to give Google your credit card number and just hope that NJPB doesn't exceed the limit of the free account - that's like giving them a blank check.

IMO, this Google change is going to affect a lot of websites and apps. Will be interesting to see the backlash.
 

46er

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I would hate to see NJPB Map so away. It is a wonderful resource that I use all the time.
I agree, it is a great feature of NJPB. But I say scr*w Google. Ben should not have to pay anything. There are many free map resources on the web folks can take advantage of. Perhaps it might be wise to assemble a list of them for folks to reference.
 

Boyd

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Just so everyone understands the issue.... The only maps that come from Google are the basic street map (called "Map" in the menu) and satellite view ("satellite"). Most would probably agree that not much would be lost without these - and there are free alternatives to replace them.

I made the LIDAR map and gave it to NJPB earlier this year. It is the only map data that's actually stored on the NJPB server.

All the other map layers come from the State of New Jersey and are accessed on the servers at NJGIN (NJ Geographic Information Network). These maps are free for anyone to use as they please.

So none of this is the problem. The problem is that NJPB maps use Google's proprietary map viewing interface. This is the computer code that locates your mouse cursor on the map, zooms and drags the view, shows the map you want, etc. Starting June 11, everyone will have to pay to use Google's interface, based on usage.

Google will allow a certain amount of free usage (which they claim is worth $200) but it's not clear to me whether that will be enough for NJPB. Ben will be able to figure that out. Even if it looks like we are OK, he will still have to setup an account where he would be billed if usage exceeds the so-called $200 "credit".

The good news is that there are free open source map viewing interfaces that should be able to replace Google, but they could take time to implement.
 
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Boyd

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There are many free map resources on the web folks can take advantage of. Perhaps it might be wise to assemble a list of them for folks to reference.
I wouldn't start making my list of alternatives just yet, because many of them are going to be facing the same dilemma. Google dominates online mapping after all these years of free, unrestricted access.
 

Teegate

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Just so everyone understands the issue.... The only maps that come from Google are the basic street map (called "Map" in the menu) and satellite view ("satellite"). Most would probably agree that not much would be lost without these - and there are free alternatives to replace them.

I would not fully agree with that. The satellite map is the highest quality, including zooming, and loads instantly. The state maps not so fast. And the Map feature is the most important of them all in my usage. I use that constantly.

So for me, I am going to be hampered by Google.
 

Boyd

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I think Google wants you to view their maps on their own website, where they can put all kinds of ads in front of you and carefully track your interests and travels. If anyone else wants to use their technology, it will cost them, although a certain amount will be free if you register and agree to their new terms of service.
 

Teegate

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Since they are their maps I see the point in what they are doing. That doesn't make it any easier to take.
 

Boyd

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I would not fully agree with that.
That is probably a bad sign if others feel the same way. I am not so clear about whether use of the NJGIN maps would result in a charge under the new system, but I'm pretty sure that Google's products do. And I think there are a lot of NJPB map users that aren't even forum members. Some of them aren't even human! ;)
 

Teegate

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I would assume now that if you post a photo using their map they will also be trying to get money for that. Up until now they did not seem to bother enforcing but may now start doing that.
 

Boyd

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I don't know, that might be more trouble than it's worth to enforce. But changing their API is simple. Evidently, after June 11 you will just get a low resolution map with big watermarks unless your site has agreed to their new terms.