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22.01.2016

Wouter Vanderkelen,
Consultant

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Google Maps Engine API stops responding in 1 week

2384 read – 0 comments – Mobile – Tags: Google, Google Maps Engine, API, Web development, Google cloud

Google has stopped support and will terminate GME on January 29, 2016.

First off all, let me clarify that Google only discontinues its Google Maps Engine product and API. Other products like Google Maps, Google Earth and Google My Maps will keep on responding your calls after the 29th.

Why has Google depreciated Google Maps Engine?

Although never official stated, the most reasonable explanation is that the product names are becoming confusing, even for themselves. The ‘Maps’ saga of Google has reached a staggering number of episodes, as you can see below.

  • Google Maps
  • Google Maps API
  • Google Maps Enterprise
  • Google Earth
  • Google Earth Pro
  • Google Maps Engine Lite
  • Google Maps Engine Pro
  • Google My Maps
  • Google Maps for Work

The official explanation however is Google wants to focus on a smaller range of products and let you harvest more benefits from their investments in the API’s and other product suits (See the newest Google Maps JS API V3 for example). Through time the benefits of GME (Google Maps Engine) were also diminishing, as Google Maps, Google My Maps and Google Cloud SQL are becoming more customizable. 

Google: "In an effort to provide world-class location content to consumers and businesses alike and to build on the strength of our infrastructure and capabilities, Google will end support for the Google Maps Engine (GME) product on January 29, 2016. … As an organization, we want to focus our efforts on delivering rich location content via our APIs, and enabling customers to take advantage of the capabilities provided by our Google Cloud Platform products."

What was Google Maps Engine?

To say it simple, it was Google’s most customizable maps product. You were able to choose your own base layer or choose one of the shelf (Terrain, satellite, political, highways …). Afterwards the real power started, interpreting all different kinds of datasets (Excel spreadsheets, kml, geoJSON …) and visualizing them in different layers. As top layers you could render almost any shape, object or pointer to really make your own map design & style. To top it off, it was publicly available on the web for your customers and employees. 

Will we miss it?

The product was impressive, but the new releases of Google products or competitors like ESRI, CartoDb or Belgian software company Luciad can handle most functionalities. If you’re however just hearing about this now and are utilizing ‘google maps engine’ extensively you’re in for some long nights towards the 29th.

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