[aprssig] Google Maps API Change Has "Broken" findu.com

Matthew Chambers mchambers at showmeham.info
Wed Aug 22 01:56:49 EDT 2018

Part of the problem is Google is now charging more for access to their mapping API based on usage, here’s the excerpt from the APRS.fi email list


For some time this morning, Google Maps on aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi/> displayed a pop-up saying "This page can't load Google Maps correctly". The map tiles were dark with "For Development Purposes Only" written on them.

This was because of a configuration accident on my part: the aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi/> profile on Google Cloud console was not properly linked to the correct payments profile which has my credit card attached. That's now fixed and the maps load fine. For a few days (3-5?), starting now.

Due to the volunteer / charitable / non-profit uses in Amateur Radio circles (SAR, disaster relief, etc) aprs.fi <http://aprs.fi/> has had a generous free use limit from Google, even after the pricing went up in 2012. With the recent pricing model changes for Google Maps APIs, the free use quota got lost, because they were not automatically migrated in the transformation. It was a bit uncertain whether it'll stay there or not, but now it's obvious it's gone.

I'm trying to reach out to them and see if it can be reinstated, or if a generous volume discount can be applied. If someone has insider Google contacts who are amateur radio operators, please email me and them in private.

If not, I might be looking at a bill of 4000-5000€ ($4500-6000) per month, which obviously is something that I can't do. The billing has now started, and I got a small credit for the transition & try-out period, which will last for a few days, and I can pay the bill for a few more days after that, but then I'll have to turn it off or quickly migrate away.

To reduce the loads a bit, I'll be disabling the Embedded maps feature right now.

There is a risk that I'll have to replace Google Maps with something, but it'll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end result might not be quite as smooth; the Google Maps API has been pretty great.

Remember folks: It's not just about the map graphics - it's the API, and all the software from Google to load the graphics and draw things on top, and make them pan and zoom nicely.

  - Hessu, OH7LZB

Matthew Chambers, CBT, NR0Q

Wife to Jamie and Father to Mariah and Roxanne
Director - Macon County Office of Emergency Management
Captain / Training Officer - Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department
Public Works Technician - City of Atlanta, Missouri
Caretaker - Amtrak Station La Plata Missouri, Missouri’s Stop for the Southwest Chief
Owner / Technician - M Chambers Radio www.mchambersradio.com
Sports Announcer - True Country KLTI 93.3 FM, 102.7 FM, 106.5 FM and 1560 AM

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> On Aug 21, 2018, at 10:44 PM, Stephen H. Smith via aprssig <aprssig at lists.tapr.org> wrote:
> About a week or so ago, Google changed the API (Applications Programming Interface) by which third-party sites (like findu.com") call up Google Maps displays.  findu now produces a dimmed-out overlay on the map overlaid with text "For development purposes only". Additionally, a white box with the message "This page can't load Google Maps correctly" appears.
> I vaguely recall a posting on several of the APRS-related mailing lists a few months ago, that this change was coming.  Apparently, it has arrived. 
> APRS.fi does not seem to be affected.  I assume this is because they had switched to a newer API for calling Google Maps some time ago. 
> This change is also affecting the personal APRS webserver built into UIview.  There is an option in the UI-Webserver to look up details of an individual station in the list of "Stations Heard".   This calls a script from F5VAG's website to produce three static Google maps showing the location of the station in question at three different scales.   This quit working and started producing blank squares.  When I mentioned this on the UIview list two days ago, F5VAG made some tweaks and got it working again.  However, he is not certain how long this will work.  
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com 
> Skype:        WA8LMF
> EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
> Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net <http://wa8lmf.net/>
> Live Off-The-Air APRS Activity Maps
>    <http://wa8lmf.net/map> <http://wa8lmf.net/map>
> Long-Range APRS on 30 Meters HF 
>    <http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/HF_APRS_Notes.htm> <http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/HF_APRS_Notes.htm>
> _______________________________________________
> aprssig mailing list
> aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> http://lists.tapr.org/mailman/listinfo/aprssig_lists.tapr.org

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