[aprssig] aprs.fi and Google Maps API pricing in July 2018

Sterling Coffey kawfey at gmail.com
Wed Jul 18 13:58:31 EDT 2018


Philip Gladstone, operator of PSKReporter.net, had to undergo the exact
same switch-over:

Thank you for the work you do!

-Sterling N0SSC

On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 5:56 AM Heikki Hannikainen <hessu at hes.iki.fi> wrote:

> On Wed, 18 Jul 2018, Heikki Hannikainen wrote:
> > 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.
> And before everyone and their dog yells "Hey, just switch to
> OpenStreetMaps, you have that already in the menu right?", please note
> that:
> When you select the "OSM" option from the current aprs.fi menu, it just
> tells Google Maps API to download OSM tiles; that does not stop the paid
> use of the Google Maps API.
> The Google Maps API has provided quite a few things:
> * The source map material (vector maps drawn by people and algorithms,
> often purchased from other mapping companies)
> * PNG map tiles (the source map material drawn and zoomed and rendered as
> small PNG image files), these are what are actually downloaded and
> displayed in the web browser
> * The tile servers run in Google's cloud, which convert the source map
> material to the PNG tiles; the web browser downloads the tiles from these
> servers, not aprs.fi!
> * The Maps API javascript library, which performs the downloading of the
> tiles in the browser, zooming and panning functions, and draws things like
> APRS symbol graphics on top, and lines between them, when aprs.fi simply
> gives sets of geographical coordinates to the library.
> * Address search (what are the coordinates for a street address); need to
> use something like Geonames for that, but it won't be half as good as
> Google's free text address search
> From OSM you only get the first one, the source vector map material. You
> can't simply download map tiles from their tile server all the time (see
> https://operations.osmfoundation.org/policies/tiles/ ).
> Then I'll need something like Leaflet to replace the javascript library,
> it's some work to convert to that.
> Then I'll need to download the tiles from somewhere, either from one of
> the free or paid tile servers, or perhaps set up my own tile server, which
> takes quite some work and plenty of server capacity to run
> (
> https://switch2osm.org/serving-tiles/building-a-tile-server-from-packages/
> - see below "Import map data" and "Hardware" headlines).
> https://switch2osm.org/ describes the process quite well. It's plenty of
> work, but I'll have to look into it.
>    - Hessu, OH7LZB
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