The Sun Finally Sets on the Google Earth API

The Google Earth API has finally met its expiration date. Google originally announced it would end the popular API back in 2014. When the original sunset date approached at the end of 2015, Google granted one final reprieve. However, The Earth team announced the official sunset date last month, and that day is now upon us. Starting January 11, 2017, The Google Earth API will no longer be available.

As ProgrammableWeb previously reported, popularity was never the issue with the Google Earth API. In fact, Google delayed the sunset for over a year simply to give developers time to find an alternative solution. Rather, the API is based on outdated NPAPI plugin technology which is no longer supported by most browsers. While there is no direct replacement for the Google Earth API, the Google Earth program will continue, and ending support for the API will free up resources for the team to build the next generation of Earth products.

In addition to the API sunset, Google will end support for Google Earth 4 on the same day. The current version is For those who need older versions, 5.0 is still available.

Despite the 2+ year head's up Google has granted Google Earth API users, some will still be taken off guard by the announcement, and the sunset on Wednesday. For those looking for alternative solutions, check out PW's article discussing alternatives. Additionally, the comments thread below the Earth team's announcement is full of suggestions and clarifications.

Be sure to read the next Mapping article: Mapbox Unity SDK Brings Pokemon Go-like AR to Gaming Developers