Cristian has now complied with the letter of the law, if not the spirit, as he’s removed the Google Maps option from the most recent version but also made it possible for the end user to now define any base URL for a tile mapping service like Google’s. (This reminds me of online “crossword” games where you have to build your own Scrabble ™ board.) Hack the Day has the settings for getting Google Maps tiles in the new version if you are so inclined.
One highly ironic result: You can now only legally view KML files on your mobile on top of Yahoo Maps and Microsoft Live Local.
It’s Google’s tiles and they can of course set the terms however they want. But it’s undeniable we have ourselves a sub-optimal outcome here. Google should consider doing one or more of the following:
- Build a mobile mapping client that makes me want to switch from Mobile GMaps to Google Maps Mobile. (KML support? Live web tracking?)
- Hire Cristian Streng.
That last point is very important. In an ideal world, people would simply start adopting more lenient mapping services for their mobile apps, and these then get the benefits of widespread adoption, but the real-world problem is that outside the US, high resolution satellite imagery by Google’s competitors is atrocious. In places like Egypt and elsewhere, Google’s imagery and maps are the only game in town.
In other Mobile GMaps news, KML output has been improved if you want to do live tracking with GMap Track. Simply point a KML network link to:
You will get a placemark for your last location — and now also all the metadata that comes with it.