Topic:   GoogleMaps – API changes  

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  jacoline 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #10246
    kiwi
    kiwi
    Keymaster

    1656 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: https://mapsplatform.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-google-maps-platform.html

    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 (https://github.com/dkniffin/webtrees-openstreetmap) 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.

    Nigel
    My personal kiwitrees site is www.our-families.info
    #10341
    pab
    pab
    Participant

    111 posts

    I have not had any issues with GoogleMaps until today when this appeared. After much redirection I found something about v2 and v3 API keys which is just confusing…

    Penguins Are Boss

    Apache 2.4.33; MariaDB 10.2.14; PHP 7.2.4 (display_errors Disabled)

    https://bootesgowland.info

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    #10343
    kiwi
    kiwi
    Keymaster

    1656 posts

    As per the above, you need to make sure you have an API number from Google entered into kiwitrees, plus a Google billing account linked to that API.

    The latter is frustrating, as there is unlikely to ever be a charge made, but it is nevertheless necessary to use maps now.

    Nigel
    My personal kiwitrees site is www.our-families.info
    #10447

    jacoline
    Participant

    466 posts

    Some joomla users actually got a billing request. In the joomla forum they talked about it. And it appears that some users had many views and now the google (map)page is closed. And can only be opening again by paying. The one page I looked at – had the google map at his home page and also showed where the visitor lived. With our system we have to choose “googlemap” and this does not happend by every visiting. Just to explaine we (kiwi-users/visitors) still have to click at our google maps alot of times before this happens ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regards,
    Jamie Jaconelli

    admin and owner of:
    www.jaconelli.dk/webtrees, www.jaconelli.dk/history, www.familien-johnsen.dk(submenu) and danish support at www.host-siden.dk/sandbox and facebook

    #10450
    kiwi
    kiwi
    Keymaster

    1656 posts

    Some joomla users actually got a billing request.

    I did as well. I think that over time everyone will. But a “billing request” does not mean paying. I have a very busy site. I signed up for a billing account some months ago. I receive an invoice every month – and every month it is for zero dollars. It is just a process, to catch those people who have taken unfair advantage of a free service. It would be extremely rare for a family history site to have enough visitors using Google Maps to trigger a payment. The free allowance is very large. Some people will, I am sure, be worried about giving credit card details to Google, but it is not necessary to worry.

    Nigel
    My personal kiwitrees site is www.our-families.info
    #10453

    jacoline
    Participant

    466 posts

    I agree. Also the reason I tried to tell the different at this install and our kiwi user install ๐Ÿ™‚ But in my exampel the google map was closed (dunno how many visitors he had). But he came along by adding a new google account with a new api. The price is insane. Much more expensive than the most expensive web hosting provider.

    Edit: His invoice had an amount 300.- DK each month

    Regards,
    Jamie Jaconelli

    admin and owner of:
    www.jaconelli.dk/webtrees, www.jaconelli.dk/history, www.familien-johnsen.dk(submenu) and danish support at www.host-siden.dk/sandbox and facebook

    #10454
    kiwi
    kiwi
    Keymaster

    1656 posts

    But not for a family history website, surely?

    Nigel
    My personal kiwitrees site is www.our-families.info
    #10455

    jacoline
    Participant

    466 posts

    A private joomla page at his main (front) page – meaning every visitor activated his googlemap. We have it in tab and I know only 1 out of 100 activate the googlemap at my page (as an exampel). But the important part is that you can just add a new google account and you are free to continue ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regards,
    Jamie Jaconelli

    admin and owner of:
    www.jaconelli.dk/webtrees, www.jaconelli.dk/history, www.familien-johnsen.dk(submenu) and danish support at www.host-siden.dk/sandbox and facebook

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