Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Maps Data API deprecation announcement

The Maps Data API is being deprecated and will no longer be available after January 31st 2011. For more information, including how to preserve your data and alternative solutions, read on...

When the Maps Data API was launched in Google Code Labs last year, it provided developers with a scalable distributed platform for hosting geospatial data. Since then we have received a lot of valuable feedback from developers, such as the need for visualisation of hosted data in Maps API applications, easy migration of existing spatial databases into the cloud, and a familiar data model and query syntax.

Earlier this year we launched a feature in the Google Maps API v3 that renders data stored in Fusion Tables, a Google Research project for storing large structured data sets in the cloud, which has an SQL based API, and recently gained support for spatial queries. The response both at developer events and online has been overwhelmingly positive. We have seen an explosion of compelling Maps applications that use Fusion Tables to store and visualise data.

Given this developer enthusiasm, and the fact that Fusion Tables addresses many of the features requested by developers for the Maps Data API, we have decided to recommend Fusion Tables as our cloud storage solution of choice for geospatial data going forward, and to deprecate the Maps Data API.

The Maps Data API will continue to be accessible until January 31st 2011, and Maps created using the Maps Data API will remain accessible in Google My Maps beyond this date. During the deprecation period we are also providing a Maps Data API data liberation tool. This tool offers download of Maps from the Maps Data API in KML format, or transfer to Fusion Tables, by the user that owns the data. Both data transfer and download to KML will preserve all data for the vast majority of maps. There are some rarely used features (e.g. certain custom properties) that are not represented in the KML download. See the FAQ in the tool for more details.

If you have any questions or concerns about the deprecation of the Maps Data API please consult the Maps Data API Forum. If you have been working with the Maps Data API we understand that this announcement may be disappointing. However we encourage you to take a look at Fusion Tables. We’re excited by the possibilities offered by its ease of use and powerful search and visualisation features, and we think you will be too.