back to article Google vows: Earth will vanish in 2015

Developers who have built web apps that take advantage of the Google Earth geospatial imaging service have just 12 more months to make the most of them, because the online ad-slinger plans to shut down the Google Earth API next year. According to a Friday blog post, Google will continue to fully support the Google Earth API …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    Oh look, something else Google got "bored with".

    (see title)

    1. ratfox

      Re: Oh look, something else Google got "bored with".

      Didn't read the article, did you?

  2. pip25
    Thumb Down

    Rather evil, if you ask me

    Phase out an API but offer no replacement whatsoever. It's not one of the more obscure Google APIs either. This does not make one especially confident that using Google's online services in company or personal projects is a safe option in the long run.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Rather evil, if you ask me

      You're acting like that lack of safety is "news" or something.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rather evil, if you ask me

      I think that using ANY API or online service in an application that you care about is pretty dumb, unless you have a contract that ensures it won't go away. Of course that is half of Google's trick: don't have contracts and pretend that just turning stuff off when it gets boring is 'solving the problem of running services'. (May be they think it is solving the problem, of course.)

    3. DaLo

      Re: Rather evil, if you ask me

      Hmm, show me one developer who hadn't heard that NPAPI had been deprecated and was becoming obsolete in the near future.

      It's been well over a year since Google announced it was being killed off in Chrome. Devs might have been waiting for a new API - they'll probably get one as part of an update to the Maps API, but I don't think anyone was under any illusion that the existing API was going to be a single NPAPI hold-out while the main architecture was killed off around it.

  3. TPX

    Google is becoming more annoyingly elitist everyday, as if helping the NSA spy was not enough.

  4. C. P. Cosgrove

    If this means the end of Google Earth that is truly bad news. Even the free version, with somewhat variable resolution is an extremely valuable resource. I use it quite intensively for purely private reasons. Being heavily involved in a project photographing war graves, at the least it is incredibly useful for assessing the orientation of cemeteries as a means to determine the best time of day to take the photos.

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. waldo kitty

      If this means the end of Google Earth that is truly bad news.

      not google earth... the old plugin based google earth api that allows one to use and display google earth stuff in a web based browser app... there's still the google maps stuff, right? they don't use the same api, afaik ;)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Round and round the API goes...

    ..and what to choose nobody knows...

    "Sunset for the Google Earth COM API" (Google Geo Developers Blog 2010)

    Two years ago I switched an application from stand-alone (desktop) GE to browser plug-in because I had found information e.g. here and (from two years before that) here and indeed from the horse's mouth, about the desktop API being given up in favour of the browser plug-in API.

    How soon we forget...

  6. phil dude

    word change...

    $CORPS doesn't want to support $PRODUCT so $F*CK_OFF.

    Insert any company you want. Doesn't matter how much it helps humanity, only the $$ matter.

    I know Google buys the images from some other $CORP, but it is US the tax payer that funded the R&D that put all those satellites in orbit.

    Perhaps El Reg is leading the way wtih LOHAN if we can get enough images to cover the globe.

    Perhaps 10^6 hydrogen balloon cameras.

    Perhaps a use for "drones" that doesn't involve death.

    But google, if you don't want to "be evil", stop acting as if we don't hold you to your word, whatever that might be this ns.


    1. Ben Tasker

      Re: word change...

      Insert any company you want. Doesn't matter how much it helps humanity, only the $$ matter.

      In a post filled with variables, I was briefly left wondering why the PID mattered....

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: word change...

      "it is US the tax payer that funded the R&D that put all those satellites in orbit."

      Quite a bit used to come from Spot image and Infoterra which are European, but do go on.

      1. phil dude

        Re: word change...

        OK I'll spread the credit around...the Europeans help. But the Soviets and USA were decades ahead and let us not forget. The only nation to have put another human on a remote piece of rock is the USA.

        If you ever need to be convinced of how amazing that was, visit the Kennedy space Center (sic) or the Smithsonian and see the *ancient* tech used.

        I still think it is evil....


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: word change...

          "The only nation to have put another human on a remote piece of rock is the USA"

          Err, I went to Gibraltar last year.

          1. Swarthy

            re: remote piece of rock

            Didn't the Reg cover a British chap on Rockall earlier this year?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: word change...

          @phil dude

          "see the *ancient* tech used"

          It wasn't ancient when it was used back then!!

          Silly remark - like saying when Christopher Columbus set sail for the 'New World' "you should have seen the *ancient* tech used. They didn't even have GPS. Astounding.

        3. Mage Silver badge

          Re: word change...

          Arianespace has over 50% of launches

          61% of orbiting Satellites are Arianespace launches.

          Work on the European Space Port was started in 1960s.

          The USA Man on Moon Program had no strategy beyond a man on the Moon. It was a blind alley.

          The Shuttle program was more to suit USA Military than advancement of Civilian Space Exploration, it couldn't reach Geosynchronous orbit never mind leave orbit. Ideal for recovery of Low Earth Orbit Spy Satellites.

          See how many Shuttle missions were classified.

          NASA gets the lion share of publicity compared to CNES, ESA, Arianespace, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Israeli space Programs. Israel managed to orbit a satellite (I think 1988 or 1989) from East to West Launch instead of normal West to East Launch. They didn't want to worry the Neighbours!

          The Australians are building two spaceports, one based on Woomera, the defunct UK facility (Only the British achieved success to abandon the program entirely!). Anyone know why the Australians doing it?

  7. RyokuMas

    Pot and kettle...

    So - spend time building and promoting an API, allow developers to invest time and energy building applications based on it - some of whom may now depend on said applications to make their livelihood - then axe it.

    Bravo Google. A classic Microsoft-style move if ever there was one.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Pot and kettle...

      Your anit-Google rants are all well and good but so often off the mark.

      In the case of Google Earth the API is far less important than the data that is made freely available, which as far as I can tell, will continue to be the case.

      Any developer who makes their livelihood dependent upon a company continuing to provide a free service deserves to go bust. The whole point of the free APIs and data is to see what services are possible and popular and, thus, suitable for either for charging or running ads. Google is publicly traded company with a duty to its shareholders to make money. Shock, horror, I know. I don't remember Microsoft ever providing the same amount of services.

      As the article points out this particular API now looks pretty outdated and I suspect, though I don't know, that its use is limited. We'll have to see whether a replacement (WebGL, Canvas, PPAPI or whatever) is forthcoming. Some of the of the other APIs to have been retired have been granted both extensions and replacements: Google Charts was due to be phased out this year and has been superseded by Google Visualisation.

      None of this means that I particularly like Google (I don't use Chrome and run Cyanogenmod) but I do have a more than grudging admiration for the company's engagement in open source. We'll have to see how much of that remains if the various tax loopholes are ever closed or the EU is able to enforce rigorous data protection and privacy standards from 2016 (when the new law is due to take effect).

  8. 10111101101

    Google's 1st Black Hole!

    Darn we are witnessing the first man made black hole!

  9. illiad

    cut through the jungle, please... :)

    A bit less buzz, and more direct info please!! :)

    What particular thing is being talked about??

    a) the thing that puts a small map inside a web page, like bus maps, 'you are here' map inside facebook, etc?? (in full mobile phone apps as well )

    b) The part where the web gmaps gives you a choice of 'google earth ' type view???

    C) the separate program - google earth ???

    or some other thing used on mobile phones???

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