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    Topic:   GoogleMaps – API changes  

    This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by kiwi kiwi 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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    • #10246

      1636 posts

      Some of you may have seen or received emails about recent announcements about changes to the way Google manages access to its mapping tools, via it’s APIs. If not, then I recommend you read the details from this link:

      The first thing to note about these changes is that they WILL affect your use of the kiwitrees GoogleMaps module.

      For some time Google has required you to have an “API key” in order to use their mapping tools, Once created you store this in kiwitrees, in Administration > Tools > GoogleMaps. However, not having the key did not previously stop the GoogleMaps module working. It did create warnings in the code, but most of the time you would not notice them unless your usage became excessive,

      But the new requirements, effective from 11 June 2018 will change this. An API key will become essential. Without it, the maps will not work. To avoid any issues with Google’s copyright etc., the next release of kiwitrees (likely before June 11) will change and no longer allow the module to function without an API key.

      But that is not the end of the changes. Google now requires you to register a billing account with them (credit card details) linked the API key. Without the billing account, the API key will not be sufficient to allow the maps to display correctly.

      Not all is bad news though. Although you must have a billing account, you will not be charged for the first $200 (US) per month. This is a long way above any likely use a kiwitrees site will ever have, even the largest of the sites I am aware of (100,000 individuals).

      So the main issue for most of you is how comfortable you are having an open billing account with Google. Many people already do. Others are vehemently opposed to such concepts. I’m not going into that debate. It’s your choice.

      For now, I have no plans to replace the GoogleMaps module with an alternative. So the choice has to be to accept Google’s rules (as I have already done on my personal family history site) or disable the GoogleMaps module.

      I am aware of two attempts to move webtrees to the OpenStreetMap platform instead of GoogleMaps. The earliest ( seems to be no longer active, and never reached a stage where it was even close to being a realistic alternative.

      More recently David Drury at webtrees has been working on an OpenStreetMap alternative for the next version of webtrees. That is looking more interesting, so I will monitor it as a possible replacement in kiwitrees in the future.

      My personal kiwitrees site is
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