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According to Keir Clark over at Google Maps Mania, we are seeing The Slow Death of the Google Maps API. Who else could read the tea leaves, when it comes to an API, than a blogger who is dedicated to covering the innovation that comes out of a single API ecosystem.

Clark has noticed that "there seems little sign of the Google Maps API team returning from their two year vacation”, and "at the same time the MapBox team has continued to innovate and has now become the maps API of choice for most developers”.

While nobody knows the reasons Google Maps has stopped innovating (except Google), it is clear that you can’t stop delivering value to developers, or they will migrate elsewhere to find the API resources they need for their applications—it doesn’t matter if you are Google, or any other tech giant.

Mapping darling Mapbox, and open source JavaScript library Leaflet has seemed to captured the attention of developers by delivering simple, open solutions—while also continuing to iterate and deliver features that keep up with the needs of developers.

The Google Maps API is one of the API pioneers listed on my History of APIs, but much like Delicious, maybe the age of Google Maps is coming to a close. I’m sure many mainstream websites and applications will use Google by default because of the advertising and SEO opportunities, but for developers who care about providing beautiful, seamlessly blended maps that add value to their websites and apps, I think Google Maps just isn’t going to do it anymore.




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