Dropping Google Maps

The "to-do" list for Virtual Radar Server is as long as my arm, but if you want to pile more work onto it then this is for you.
vrsreq
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:50 pm

Dropping Google Maps

Post by vrsreq » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:53 pm

Anyone feel like tackling removing Google Maps? Switching to OSM openlayers or leaflet like dump1090 for VRS.

Google API cost for public facing site is $1000's a month if the site has even 1000 visitors a month.

Any takers?

Datamix
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:36 pm

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by Datamix » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:21 pm

I thought if you make your site public, offer your service for free and under 25'000 loads per day you don't have to pay for the Maps API.

Source: https://developers.google.com/maps/pric ... s/#details
VRS: v3 (24-JUN-2018)

vrsreq
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:50 pm

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by vrsreq » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:26 pm

FYI: I far exceed the 'free' tier thanks to some interest in what I was aggregating and displaying. API key aws connected to commercial API account - boom it hit the fan.

VRS really needs to support other mapping anyway. Imagine what we could write for overlays if we could use Openlayers, aviation vector charts, sectionals, offline maps, custom tile servers. Blows the doors off Google Maps.

Datamix
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:36 pm

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by Datamix » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:49 pm

vrsreq wrote:Imagine what we could write for overlays if we could use Openlayers, aviation vector charts, sectionals, offline maps, custom tile servers.
That's true. A different map provider as a option would be neat.

Maybe this thread will help you in the meantime: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1049
VRS: v3 (24-JUN-2018)

agw
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by agw » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:50 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying. This question has come up before but I wasn't too fussed about it at the time... now that they're insisting on API keys it is getting a bit painful to only have Google Maps.

The main issue is that the API that you use to display the map and draw all over it needs to offer roughly the same kind of features as Google's API. I was looking at this last weekend and it turns out you can use the Google Maps API with an OpenStreetMap tile server (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Google_Maps_Example). It only took five or ten minutes to incorporate into VRS... however, when I tried it on a public site without an API key Google still showed the "you need a key" message and didn't show the map. Worked fine with VRS on a private LAN though, and if the charges are based on tile fetches rather than page fetches then it might still be viable.

So yes, given that I would like to be back in a position where you can put VRS onto the Internet without having to sign up for any API keys I will be looking at adding OSM support for the next release.

Radio Active
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:14 am
Contact:

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by Radio Active » Thu May 03, 2018 1:59 am

Google Maps have changed things yet again just beware of this, I'm sure some could be in for a nasty surprise.

Hi,

Today we are announcing important changes, including our new name - Google Maps Platform, a simplified product structure, pay as you go pricing for all, and more. Please take a few minutes to review the announcement to familiarize yourself with the upcoming changes.

We would like to highlight a few updates that may impact your implementation. Beginning June 11th, we are launching our new pricing plan and providing all users access to support. We’ll continue to offer a free tier — all developers will receive $200 of free monthly usage of our core products.

In addition, this change will require you to enable billing and associate it with all of your Google Maps Platform projects. Creating a billing account helps us better understand your usage so we can continue developing helpful products. It also allows you to scale easily with less downtime and fewer performance issues if your product grows beyond the $200 of free monthly usage. For additional visibility and control you can set daily quotas or billing alerts.

How does this affect your current projects?

Project: My Project (XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX)

Based on your project usage over the last 3 months and our new pricing plan, we estimate that your new cost will be less than $200 a month and will be covered by our $200 monthly free credit. This estimate does not include usage from other projects or keyless implementations.

We want to support you along the way. Please read our Guide for Existing Users to understand how these changes may impact your account and what steps you need to take.

Thank you for using Google Maps Platform.

agw
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by agw » Thu May 03, 2018 8:23 pm

Yes, I got those emails as well. The problem with Google Maps is that come June 11th they want a credit card to use them and you need an API key for all access, not just public access. I think it's the parting of the ways for Google Maps and VRS.

I've been looking at OSM, the API side doesn't look too bad but the problem remains the tile server. If the bottom of this page here is anything to go by:

https://switch2osm.org/serving-tiles/bu ... -packages/

then running a tile server covering the entire world is going to need a pokey bit of hardware. I need to look into it a bit more.

YTWB-1
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:38 am
Location: Toowoomba Qld Australia

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by YTWB-1 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:37 am

I've been looking at OSM, the API side doesn't look too bad but the problem remains the tile server. If the bottom of this page here is anything to go by:

https://switch2osm.org/serving-tiles/bu ... -packages/

then running a tile server covering the entire world is going to need a pokey bit of hardware. I need to look into it a bit more.
Re: Dropping Google Maps
@AGW
Were you looking at serving the entire globe? I think that would be a big deal for you and perhaps not practical.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a local tile server for one's own station - just to serve the 200NM or so radius from the site? That would be an extension of the PlanePlotter approach downloads a suitably scaled map to use as a semi-fixed background. That doesn't lend itself to being 'serve-able' in the way that VRS currently allows.

agw
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by agw » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:40 am

I have uploaded a preview version of the 2.4 branch that adds support for Leaflet and OSM / Wikimedia etc. maps here:

http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk/Preview.aspx

It will be quite a short preview because it's late on Friday now and I intend to release 2.4.1 on Sunday, hopefully prior to Google starting their new regime on the 11th. I expect that there will need to be a couple of point releases after the main release to tidy up loose ends.

The version 3 previews that were previously on that page can now be found here: http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk/PreviewV3.aspx. They don't have Leaflet support but I'll be releasing version 3 previews with Leaflet support fairly shortly, once I've ported everything across from 2.4.

The bits that I know are missing or a bit ropey are:
  • There is no clustered marker support. Leaflet is a good drop-in replacement for Google Maps but doesn't have marker cluster support. I found a plugin that adds clusters to Leaflet but it is not a drop-in replacement for Google Maps and I won't have time to sort it out before June 11th. Cluster support will be coming soon, it just won't be there in 2.4.1. It's still there in Google Maps if you need it.
  • There is less control over Z indexes in Leaflet than there is in Google Maps, so you may see some differences there.
The approach I took with the tile servers was to have VRS download a core set of settings for them daily from the SDM site. I think most users should be fine with the free servers and if an operator wants me to remove their tile servers from the list then this approach lets me push changes out to users without having to re-release VRS.

Users that want to set up their own tile servers, or use a tile server that is not in the default list, can do so by creating a JSON file in the configuration folder. The program writes a readme file to the configuration folder on first startup that details how to go about it.

You can switch between Google Maps and Leaflet maps in the data sources page in Tools | Options. The web admin plugin has been updated to add the new settings.

Radio Active
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:14 am
Contact:

Re: Dropping Google Maps

Post by Radio Active » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:33 am

Great work as usual, one question, is there a straight forward away of adding the map tile server option bar that can be selected for the web browser "like on google maps where you can choose maps, satellite or contrast" or is it not a practical option to fit in?

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