RogerBW's Blog

Thanks, Google! 20 December 2014

It was really useful to be able to plot arbitrary data onto a zoomable map. The only service to offer this was Google Maps; indeed, it was the last thing for which I was using any Google service.

For example, I had a roadworks map which pulled data from the Highways Agency and put appropriate icons (road closures, lane closures, roadworks, etc.) into the map. For my beermap reviews site, I had a KML file for each category, and another with all categories, so that you could start looking at a certain place on the map and find a nearby pub, restaurant, or whatever.

But no more. Now we have this announcement:

From February 2015, maps created in the classic Google Maps — — will no longer load KML/KMZ files from external websites. However, we know that KML files are a really useful way to work with geographic data, so we’ve added KML to Google My Maps, and continue to support this format with other Google Maps APIs. We hope that one of these options will meet your needs.

By a remarkable coincidence, all the available options require me to register either myself or my sites with Google. Thanks a bunch; you've made my final de-googleisation much easier.

I have removed all KML functionality from sites I control (the beermap site carries on with OSM; the Highways Agency roadworks plotter that I was rather proud of is simply gone now).

Looks as though I'll be using umap or OpenLayers in the future.

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 10:57pm on 20 December 2014

    My use of Google is also reducing all the time. It's interesting that as a search engine feeks very much like Google felt about 15 years ago.

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