NUKEMAP founder explains why it’s no longer displayed on Google Maps

Alex Wellerstein, founder of NUKEMAP, recently wrote about why the app no longer appears on Google Maps. When he created NUKEMAP in 2012, the Google Maps API was great, the founder recalls. This is the best thing to do for creating a Javascript mapping mash-up, because it can have an active development community that can add new features on a regular basis at little cost.

NUKEMAP founder explains why it's no longer displayed on Google Maps

On the left is NUKEMAP in 2005 and NUKEMAP in 2012 on the right

Now, however, it’s almost impossible. The API code base has stalled in adding features that are practicaland useful. What’s more, if an educational web developer has developed something that people think is practical, Google’s recent changes to the pricing model can be described as crazy and punitive.

According to Wellerstein, the site has about 15,000 daily hits and about 200,000 monthly hits in the off-season, and this has been going on for five years. While this is already quite impressive for an academic website, Wellerstein thinks it’s a “medium-hot” term for internet terminology. In its view, this does not put any pressure on Google’s servers. From 2012 to 2016, Google did not charge for it, which was generous but unsustainable. In 2016, Google began charging. But Wellerstein says it’s not too bad, at most about $200 a month, and fortunately there’s an institution that’s willing to pay for it, the Stevens Institute of Art and Literature, Wellerstein’s employer.

But in 2018, Google changed its pricing model, sending Wellerstein’s bill soaring to about $1,800 a month. In response, Wellerstein contacted Google to find out why it had become so and wanted help. But Google tricked Wellerstein into qualifying for bulk pricing from a non-Google value partner — and, as a result, it was hard to get through.

NUKEMAP founder explains why it's no longer displayed on Google Maps

Most importantly, Google has a viable alternative. One reason for this is that the company has decided to give up small developers altogether.

NUKEMAP founder explains why it's no longer displayed on Google Maps

NUKEMAP founder explains why it's no longer displayed on Google Maps

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