February 28, 2017
The MIT License (MIT)
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A year ago users of Garmin's sport tracking devices logged into its Garmin Connect site to find a seemingly minor change. Instead of embedding Google Maps, the GPS manufacturer had switched to Microsoft's Bing Maps. According to the 38 pages of comments in Garmin's forums, this was in actuality a major change. A year later, Garmin responded in October by giving users the option of Bing or Google.
These days it might be hard to remember that the Yahoo Maps API was ever second fiddle to the Google Maps API. These days, it barely picks up its fiddle. And in less than two weeks, Yahoo will lift its once-mighty mapping API above its head and bang the fiddle repeatedly into the stage like Pete Townshend. The remnants, barely held together with strings and the crumpled instrument neck, will then go in some dumpster in Sunnyvale. It's okay, after all, because Nokia's Ovi Maps API will be a fine replacement. It's only the nostalgic, like me, who'll have any problem with seeing the Yahoo name disappear.
Five years ago Paul Rademacher reverse engineered Google Maps to put Craigslist homes and rentals on a map on his site. The site essentially pre-launched the map mashup category, because there was no Google Maps API at the time. Now it is the prototypical example and still used by many to find their new homes. And, of course, Google Maps is now by far the most popular API to use.