Yahoo Maps Watch: Life Support May Continue Through 2011

Adam DuVander
Sep. 22 2011, 08:00AM EDT

Earlier this month I eulogized the Yahoo Maps API. It was launched the same week as the Google Maps API and for some time was often mentioned at the same time. The Yahoo Maps API, it appeared, was to be disconnected by now, but it appears the company is going to wait a bit longer.

Despite being marked for deletion on September 13, Yahoo has continued to keep its maps operational. How long will that last?

"A few remaining customers have requested additional time to switch over to new APIs and then the service will be shut down," a Yahoo spokesperson wrote in an email. "We anticipate this will be completed sometime later this year."

Nokia Ovi MapsYahoo has recommended Nokia Ovi Maps as a replacement, though developers will have to completely re-program their applications to support Ovi. We expect many will make the move to Google or other platforms, with abstracted mapping library the Mapstraction API looking like a good choice for limiting future changes. An inevitably large number of the 134 Yahoo Maps mashups will likely just cease to work whenever Yahoo does pull the plug on its platform.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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