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    plotaroute admin   Monday 15 Feb 2021 05:07:35

    Following a review of our mapping providers, we have reluctantly had to take the decision to discontinue using Google's maps, which were previously available to Premium members using the desktop version of our route planner. We understand this will be disappointing for those of you who like Google's maps, but sadly Google's licensing restrictions prevent us from offering services that we want to provide. It has also become clear over time that maintaining two route planners with different technologies is not sustainable and limits the development of new features.

    We know that a number of you like to use Google Street View when researching new routes and will miss this feature in particular, so we've amended our Map Inspector tool to give you direct access to Google Street View on the Google Maps website. You can use this to quickly check Google Street View for any road on the map.

    While this change closes one door, the good news is that it also opens up others - the first of these we are pleased to announce today.

     

    New Premium Maps

    Adding Ordnance Survey® maps to the website has been one of the most voted for requests on our Feature Requests list, but we have previously been unable to make these available due to incompatibilties between Ordnance Survey and Google contract terms. Following today's changes we are very pleased to say that this is now something we can offer and that Ordnance Survey's iconic leisure maps will now be available to Premium members in the desktop route planner. 

    In addition, we can also announce that we've added AccuTerra™ maps to the desktop route planner for Premium members in the US. These are regarded by some as the best recreational maps available for the US, combining data from the nation’s national parks, national forests, federal lands, state parks, local parks, and high-use recreation areas, alongside data from the OpenStreetMap community.

    Both of these new premium maps have been introduced on a trial basis while we evaluate them, but subject to trial results we hope to also make available through our mobile app in due course.

     

    New Standard Maps

    We're also pleased to announce that we've added USGS Topo maps to the desktop route planner for all our users in the US. These maps are a signature product of the US Geological Survey and show many detailed features that help with planning recreational routes.

    Lastly, as part of these changes, we've upgraded our Trails Map (previously named "Paths Map"), Cycle Map and Transport Map to use higher resolution map images where applicable, making them pin-sharp on devices with high pixel density screens, like retina displays.

    New maps

    In total there are now up to 11 different types of map to choose from when plotting a route on plotaroute.com.

    While we're sorry to lose Google maps from our website, we're excited about the new opportunities this opens up and look forward to announcing more new features in the coming months.

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    Laurent LARUAZ   Monday 15 Feb 2021 07:40:59

    Hello

    Let me speak frankly about this news : you spoilt my day ! Although I understand the reasons about this, I fear it will make plotting a route a little bit less of a pleasure . By the way I think you realize that adding new maps is of no use for those of your users outside of the US.

    However I keep being sure about the fact that plotaroute.com will stil be the best tool around ; I only will have to change some habits (and perhaps to open Google Maps in another window on my desktop). Adding access to Street View in the Map Inspector is great.

    Out of curiosity and not being a specialist of what stands behind the scenes, I would like to ask you what you mean by "maintaining two route planners" ?

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    Fred Hiking   Monday 15 Feb 2021 07:42:45

    That is not good news. I'm disappointed.

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    alfonso sanzone   Monday 15 Feb 2021 11:25:12

    This is disappointing, no choice then but to move to Ride with GPS next

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    Colin Jones   Monday 15 Feb 2021 12:06:05

    Wow, well I am pleased. Thank you so much for providing OS Maps, that is appreciated, and I understand that you could not previously, due to Google! Can't have them all, there we go.

     

    Thank you again for updating and providing the best plotting service on the web

     

    Colin

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    TC Darabuka   Monday 15 Feb 2021 12:58:50

    Of course we'd like to have it all, but I'm no more than marginally disappointed; I use the 'Cycle Map" and "Satellite Map" within Plotaroute much more often than Google Maps which I usually use to search for essential services like "Pub" or "Cafe" in a seperate window. The updated "Cycle Map" looks nice.  I wonder whether there would be a benefit in 'My Settings' to have an option to select the maps shown in the drop down window as there is.now, I regret, a number which I'm unlikely to ever use.

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    Peter Laszlo   Monday 15 Feb 2021 14:19:38

    I can no longer see the advantage of using the premium service

     

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    Michael Raider   Monday 15 Feb 2021 22:11:51

    Google Maps lack of trail mapping limits their products usefulness to me as an MTBer in the USA. Street view can be useful but I prefer to use that on a separate window anyways.

    I'm looking forward to trying the new map options.

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    Leigh Williams   Monday 15 Feb 2021 22:22:09

    This is extremely disappointing, I have been a long time user and advocate of Plotaroute, with Premium Membership, and up to now its been a very useful planning tool.

    Being located in Australia your inclusions of Ordiance Survey, USGS Topo and Accu Terra are totally useless to me. 

    You have given us nothing to replace Google products with in Australia, can I suggest that you incorporate Hema Maps from Australia asap or myself and may others will be cancelling our Premium subscription very soon.

    As Peter Lazlo says  "I can no longer see the advantage of using the premium service" and I totally agree.

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    Jeanne Miller   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 03:46:26

    I am a Trailmaster with a local walking club that is a member of a national organization. I am a Premium subscriber for two reasons: 1) the ability to make my routes private, in accordance with requirements by the national organization; 2) the ability to use Google Maps. I plot 5k and 10k routes and the sharpness of the Google background and the identifiable landmarks are perfect for walkers. 

    I'm not clear on the "two route planners with different technologies" issue.  While I do appreciate the new sharpness of the "Trails Map" (formerly "Paths"), it doesn't make up for you taking away Google Maps as a base layer.

    By the way, the Google Street View feature was pretty much unusable for what I do; I just opened up a new tab with Street View in the area of concern and flipped back and forth as needed.

    Please consider *DECREASING* your Premium Subscription price, since the base layer maps you're providing do not print legibly for my 5k and 10k walkers.  

     

    Thank you.

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    plotaroute admin   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 09:28:07

    Thanks for all your comments. We do understand that the loss of Google maps is disappointing for some and this wasn’t a decision we wanted to take, but sadly Google's licensing restrictions prevent us from offering Google maps alongside other services that we want to provide.

    As we said in our announcement, this does mean we can now look at new opportunities that were previously not open to us, either for contractual or technical reasons. The first of these we announced yesterday and we’ll be making further announcements in due course as new developments are completed.

    Thanks for your ongoing support.

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    Tom Bampton   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 10:04:42

    This is great news; thanks for the OS maps.

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    Andrew Duncan   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 11:36:04

    It is of course disappointing to lose Google maps, but - as a UK user - it's great to have OS maps. I'm also an OS subscriber. Before, I used to toggle between Plotaroute and OS Maps browser tabs. Now I will just toggle between Plotaroute and Google Maps. If anything this will be easier because there's no need to sign into Google Maps. 

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    Maryka Sennema   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 11:50:30

    "Google's licensing restrictions prevent us from offering Google maps alongside other services that we want to provide." I don't think I understand this?  Can you explain?

    Also... just because these are services you want to provide doesn't mean your users will find them useful or necessary.  Personally I only want Google maps as an overlay so I can compare roads (at times OSM lags behind Google) and also for the Streetview function.  If neither of those exist I will find it difficult to justify using (let alone paying premium for) Plotaroute. I don't know what extra things you wanted to do with Google maps but basically what you already provided worked fine for me -- others can speak for themselves. 

     

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    Fred Hiking   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 13:12:36

    It is possible to update the satellite maps used. (Austria) Out of date for at least 5 years.

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    Marc Riv   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 13:34:43

    Very disappointed in losing google maps - but I do get it.  However, I am even a bit more disappointed that the new features you have added only benefit US users.  I never considered this a US focused product until now and this will definitely impact my decision to continue my subscription.

     

    Marc.

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    leepton hais tee   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 15:23:18

    i use this web app to make my track and load in another app connected with the treadmill that allow to run looking streetview routes , whitour gmaps and streetview split screen it's uselees to me . i think that i will quit here

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    Mark Mensen   Tuesday 16 Feb 2021 18:59:25

    I only purchased the premium membership because of Google Maps. I won't be renewing my premium membership tha tis due up next month. The other maps are useless to me. 

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    plotaroute admin   Wednesday 17 Feb 2021 08:59:30

    A number of you have asked if we can share more information about the reasons for removing Google maps from the desktop version of our premium route planner.  We can’t go into too much detail, but licensing restrictions were the main driver behind the decision, as well as technical limitations and risks. Google places a number of restrictions on how its maps can be used and we felt that these restrictions both limited us from developing new features that our users have been asking for and also caused an unacceptable level of risk to existing services. 

    These are by no means the only issues, but just to give a few examples:

    • We are not allowed to use Google maps as part of an app that provides route navigation, which is an area that our users most want us to develop.

    • Google map directions don’t include road surface data that would be needed to develop ‘surface breakdown’ features requested by many of our users.

    • If Google terminated its contract with us for any reason, this would have resulted not just in the loss of Google maps but in the complete and immediate loss of service for all our premium members, as Google map based applications can only be provided using Google’s own platform. While we believed this risk to be low, the impact of such a decision would have been catastrophic. 

    There are numerous other issues and we were of course very aware that Google’s maps are popular, but ultimately we came to the conclusion that continuing to depend on Google maps was too risky and limiting, and therefore not a viable option.

    We want to ensure we can provide a dependable service that is driven by what our users want rather than what our suppliers want and, although these will never be 100% aligned, we feel that this is the best direction for plotaroute and the majority of our users. We appreciate that this may feel like a backward step for some, but we ask you to bear with us as we continue to develop new features throughout 2021.

    Obviously we appreciate that everyone’s needs are different and we will never be all things to all people, so if you feel that the loss of Google maps is something you can’t live with, we understand that and will be sorry to see you go. But we hope you’ll stick around and continue to benefit from the services we offer both now and in the future. 

    There isn’t really any more we can add so we won’t comment on this any further, but hopefully that’s provided a bit more background to our decision. 

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    Zenon Kraszewski   Wednesday 17 Feb 2021 14:35:31

    With removing GoogleMaps a scale map disappeared from plotaroute. 
    Thanking you in anticipation of your action.

    Well,
    if you don't know what's going on, you know it's about money.
    In my opinion it makes no sense to have GoogleMap and to raise the user’s annual payment to very high level.
    I prefer not to have GoogleMap and pay not too much.

    Taking this opportunity I would like to thank for the wonderful product you gave its users for a low price.
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