The bean counters in the university aren't going to cough up whatever Zeiss wants for an unlimited use license, and Zeiss isn't going to expand the license without trying to squeeze even more cash from the university. In either case, demand for the microscope would be exactly the same, only now researchers are setting alarms for 3am just to export a damn file.
I love this analogy.
Also please let me pick a nit: It gets even worse when said foreign country isn't a federation!
In Hungarian, for example, we use kormány to mean a mix of government, administration and cabinet, but mostly cabinet. Still it's usually translated to and from "government". But in English government is a very broad word that basically means all the tax funded institutions, not just the ministers. We rather call that "the state". For example in Hungarian nobody would say we have "government-funded" education or healthcare, rather we have "state-funded" ones. But in English "state" is very overloaded with many senses, so "government" took its place. It used to be strange to my ear in American movies when I knew less about the system, e.g. really the government is trying to find you? Like ministers and stuff?
That said, I don't know about the UK. If a Londoner talks about the "national level", is that England or the UK?
Oh damn I'm wrong and starting to see your point. Eg in German, "land" refers specifically to the federal state and not the federation. You need to use bundessomethingsomething to address all of Germany. Weird stuff!
EDIT suddenly I realize how weird a name the UN has. There's not really any proper nation states left in the word. Bhutan maybe?
I have no idea, but I like to think that it would've been the United Countries but then Scotland would've wanted a seat.
The name of the United Nations is an artifact of WWII - that was the name chosen by the alliance on 1 January 1942, just after the US entered the war, to describe their now-common cause. Given the wide variety of regimes fighting on the same side  and the common ideological basis of the combatant countries, "nations" and "brotherhood of nations" style of nationalism were an umbrella everyone could get behind while still having an appropriate amount of emotional oomph.
 Mostly. The USSR wasn't fighting Japan.
I beg your pardon?
They were told that, that's why they mostly assimilated.
Tell that to the Bretons, Alsatians, Occitans, Corses, Catalans; not to speak of the outre-mer colonies.
In English, the question then becomes "Where are we going to import this word from?"
We recently awarded some grants to people for them to work with an open source scientific package we've been developing.
One of the groups actually gave the money back because it was so hard to get their University to deal with them being awarded money, it wasn't worth it for the amount involved.
There are ways in which it makes sense. The company generally wants to interact with a legal entity, not a research group.
A hybrid approach, that happens occasionally at the University of Washington, is that a department negotiates a discounted license for a software license and then opens the license agreement to broader swaths of the university.
Google is familiar with that business model, at least when it comes to dealings that the Chinese government might take an interest in.
Lasting value comes from the software in between the database and the view. In the case of encyclopedias or maps, the software is the most trivial part.
I really think Google Maps will die. It's just unlikely that for the rest of history, no one will improve OpenStreetMaps to the point that it is competitive.
You need a massive amount of capital to create a redundant data set that has a death clock, doing nothing good for the world but extracting some small rent created by antitrust laws. No thanks.
A maps data set will require constant updating and the quality of the data set will be determined by the amount of work put into it on an ongoing basis. The question is which number is bigger: the monetary value of the time people are willing to donate making contributions to openstreetmap, or the amount of money that Google makes on map ads and can therefore spend improving the data quality.
Sidenote, the FOAM project is doing some interesting work into geospacial data on-the-blockchain.
From reading the analyses at https://www.justinobeirne.com/, plus just generally following the tech industry, I'm convinced Google Maps will never die, at least not in any timeframe relevant to this discussion.
Between autonomous vehicles at Waymo and Google's desire to provide intelligent suggestions to their Android and web users, they need to have as comprehensive a data set as algorithmically possible.
I suppose it's possible that OSM could become good enough that Google would only need to supply a proprietary layer on top of it for their own needs, but given that they can collect better intelligence about roads and buildings than anyone else through their unwitting spies, I doubt they'd want to give up control over the full stack.
Does this imply that Linux is <60% as good as Windows because it's not over?
Yes, absolutely, in the case of desktops, it is <60% as good as Windows or macOS. I say this as a nearly lifelong desktop Linux user. The userspace desktop software gets almost no attention compared to the kernel/systemd which actually matters for business. The major DEs like KDE and Gnome3 are full of exploits and memory leaks. The alternative to using a DE is to use a tiling window manager and spend hours a day re-implementing what would have been one-click operations on Windows/macOS. This is not to mention the lack of non-development-related software targeting desktop Linux.
Will this change in the future? I think it is very likely, but the time horizon is key. There are thousands of possible realities where Microsoft or Apple fails--political problems, economic events, bad management, some black swan startup out of nowhere. All it takes is for one of these to trigger for mindshare to shift to Linux (or BSD or Fuchsia--any free one for that matter) and bring it over the threshold.
(But this is kind of irrelevant to the point about data hoarding business models, since Windows/macOS is pure software.)
These days, everything on linux is either random potentially insecure PPA repos, shell scripts loaded from a server via curl and piped to sh with sudo access, or "snaps" (whatever the fuck they are). That all ontop of wildly outdated packages in the supported repos. No wonder everyone rants and raves about "docker", now we know why things moved into that space.
I know, this is my opinion and it's biased. Yes I may not have done things properly, or there are other ways of doing things, etc etc.
Snaps are actually a great security and packaging advance that decouples package dependencies from a common library set, while maintaining a mechanism to patch and upgrade otherwise dangling library deps. It also starts down the long road to confining software, because what you run shouldn't automatically assume all your privs. Basically iOS style apps for Linux.
People who pipe web content to a privileged shell are on their own at present. Arguably they should be warned, but that assumes taint tracking at every level of the operating system, and no production OS has that. If the software is a dependency shit show then putting it in docker (and then into a VM) is a better compromise.
Windows is already deprecating the installer model for the app store and cloud concept, they just didn't make it stick the first time round.
Snaps are a good idea in theory but do not work in practice.
No more graphical stack.
This happened to me with not only X. It seems to me that installing is tested. Removing is not. It was also badly documented last time i checked.
Happened with discord last time.
Ubuntu needs to more clearly explain whether the app is confined, and force apps to use an API to change the system environment to allow rollback, multiple packages of the same function etc.
Can you give any supporting evidence for this?
Sry, but that is just not true.
The margins are a bit different here.
1. Tries to capture all profit from the edges.
2. Extracts value "unreasonably" both to grab what they still can and to create an explanation for the death. This could be high fees, ads, or extraction of market intelligence.
3. Begins embracing the new platform with compatibility layers.
4. Starts making 2 offers on everything. One with their legacy and one with the rising platforms.
5. Treats their nonfounding CEO as significant and someone to listen to.
Plenty of companies make this transition successfully (I chose IBM as the example) and make huge profits from not having to charge uniform prices across the entire market. But the discussion was the windows platform being replaced by Linux, not Microsoft profits.
That is the future of Microsoft and the non-future of Windows.
I don't know about you, but I haven't bothered to look at any of the various "yellow pages" sites (to find a phone number or address), nor at Yelp (to find business reviews) in many years. And to make matters worse, I'm actually one of the volunteers feeding free labor / data to Maps, because I post reviews and make edits to business information. What can I say? They're really good at what they do.
That instinct to double check makes me go “Oh well let’s just use Google.”
I use bing exclusively. Sometimes I don’t find what I want, and switching to google is as simple as swapping out the authority. The query syntax is the same.
Google also spoils me with multi modal options, although the transit estimates seem to be a complete stab in the dark and there are quirks like invisible buses. The bike timing is also useful, but the routing is usually junk and profoundly unsafe.
Living here has taught me that all these apps generally suck, just google maps seems to suck slightly less.
If you use Brave, you can easily choose your search engine with `:g` for google. You can also set your own shortcuts for any search box on any website.
I much prefer the Firefox method where you add the search shortcut to a browser bookmark and then if you sync your bookmarks to the mobile app.
I use gg for Google, gi for Google images. dd for duckduckgo and di for ddg images etc
* Massive staff and fleet of vehicles on the ground with multiple sensors mapping the entire planet. Capital costs here are enormous
* Massive network and bandwidth with caches in just about every major IX to deliver ultra high performance maps
* Major established contracts with satellite mapping vendors to get the best data as early as possible
* Major brand recognition with many users using the app and knowing it to be the best of the best
I would never want to compete here, but a major institutional player could
Rather, GMaps used to be the default choice if you wanted to build an app on top of a map (in this case, looking at the effects of nuclear bomb detonations). The blog post explains why GMaps is no longer a reasonable choice, which (as the parent notes) opens up room for competitors.
OpenStreetMap is going from strength to strength. Maps startups no longer need to duplicate Google's on-the-ground mapping efforts. Now, they can make use of open data.
Mapbox is perhaps the most well-known, but there are many commercial services based on OSM data:
It counts as "Good Enough", but man, it's disappointing to see how inferior Pokemon Go maps are these days. Roads that don't exist, buildings in random places with roads going through them, and map data that seems manipulated for game advantage (by players contributing to OSM for gameplay reasons, not for accuracy reason) ... and this is in the midtown area of a top 10 US city.
This is unfortunate and surprising. In my experience (mostly UK/Europe) the quality of street data in OSM matches, and in some cases exceeds that of Google Maps. (Points-of-interest data does not, however).
If you do notice errors and omissions, fixes can be made in seconds by getting an OSM account and clicking the "edit" button on OpenStreetMap.org. In recent years the development of the "ID" editor has significantly lowered the barriers to entry of editing OSM.
> "map data that seems manipulated for game advantage"
Perhaps OSM needs some sort of Wikipedia-style spam detection/prevention if this is happening on a wide scale.
This is the same argument that keeps every year from being the year of Linux on the desktop.
"My computer crashed!" "Oh, just become a Linux kernel developer and fix it yourself."
The same happens with an OS. Most people don't want a free labor-intensive solution. They want something that just works, runs their software and stays out of the way. People don't want to think about what OS they use.
Contrast to Google Maps, where the process of getting a change made can take weeks or months - if the fixes ever show up at all.
There really is a lot of power in having a map of the world that we can all "just edit".
The OSM licence requires that people using OSM data attribute OSM, i.e. that their users are aware that the data comes from OSM. In theory this means that the final user should know that OSM is where they should go to fix data issues.
But, alas, it's often not followed that well...
Really, it’s not even an age thing. I work in tech. I visit HN on the regular. OSM, Google, and Apple all have inaccurate data about my daily commute to work. They all say a path that exists doesn’t. Have I don’t anything about it? Absolutely not.
OpenStreetmap data is quite good. I can run a local instance with all the data and the tile server and a web server in a docker image in maybe ~10 min. Source: did this a few years ago during a particularly boring meeting.
The full planet takes "a while", even on a huge computer:
8 GB gets you a large region still, depending on how much mapping has been done:
For driving directions GMaps is much better. I presume that’s where the majority of their userbase is.
I had to make a trip during rush hour. I was already going to be cutting it close on timing as this is a 12 minute drive that can take 15-20 minutes at rush hour. I plugged in my destination and GMaps routed me a way I would rarely take but didn't seem too odd. One block past my last alternate route, I saw the lights ahead. There was a 4 car crash with at least 5 emergency vehicles on scene about 1/2 mile ahead. GMaps had no clue and I had no choice but to inch through about 10 light cycles to reach the turn Gmaps wanted me to take.
The 15 minute trip took me 35 minutes. Thanks for nothing.
Did you mark the accident yourself when you saw it?
This seems unreasonable.
If it weren't already aware of the accident so it could warn you, you could have let Waze know about it and, at the least, helped out many others who were coming after you.
that's not true though. I know from doing HOTOSM that there are quite a lot places where there is only a road or two going through it only google maps but there is actually a city/town there. there are some counties where Google Street view cars have never even visited.
Source: I was using mapping tools before Google Maps came to market.
So when a book store giving away books for free puts another book store out of business, that second book store didn't have a great product?
Unless the end-game for the 2nd store is to price out every single book store, then obtain a monopoly. But then anti-monopoly laws should come into place.
But if the end-game for the 2nd store is to subsidize their cost via a different business - then it's the same as a newspaper using classifieds to subsidize their subscription business. You can't then argue that another newspaper that charge for subscriptions goes out of business is unfair.
We could switch to using OSM + Places, to at least partially alleviate our problem, except that Google requires any Google Places API results that are displayed on a map to be displayed on a Google Map, which really locks us in.
Is anyone aware of a good Google Places API alternative, including any paid self-hosted databases?
Feel free to email me, this is my area of expertise. For projects like that I can often help pro-bono.
We only need the places API for having a comprehensive list of nearby places. Other services had too few places in general, but didn't necessarily lack information about the places that were available.
OSM both is, and isn't, structured. It's free form tagging system, where anyone can start adding new tags whenever they want, without any gatekeepers.
I see that a couple of popular restaurants that have been around for at least a decade are still not shown, but maybe that is anomalous? I'll have to re-consider OSM.
I know a lot about OSM, but next to nothing about Google APIs like this. Can you explain what you're looking for, what your requirements are? Maybe OSM can help you...
I think you can achieve this with wikidata / wikibase : https://addshore.com/2016/05/geospatial-search-for-wikidata-...
You will have to populate it yourself though.
Google maps is
* Much, much slower than it used to be. My machine in 2012 was able to drag the map around and everything would load just fine.
* Harder to read/understand, especially street names. A lot of the time I have to zoom in 100% and scroll up and down a street to see what the name of the street I'm looking at is.
* Much worse at text parsing e.g. I can no longer loosely type something like "10th and grove to Jim's Hardware" and get directions. In fact most of the time I can't even type in a major intersection and get what I'm looking for.
* Obnoxiously spammy: they push new "features" on me all the time that I don't want to use (including a recent popup mid-directions when I turned on location tracking because I was lost on a busy, complicated highway intersection. It felt pretty dangerous, getting confused by a popup in the map like that mid-intersection), and the phone version asks me to turn on location tracking EVERY SINGLE TIME I OPEN THE APP.
* Addresses seem to be getting replaced by some weird google maps-designed address format in Colombia (maybe other countries?) that are useless to humans
* While every good review site seems to fail for whatever reason (tough to monetize, and fighting spam/fraud is also hard?), Maps seems to have become the de facto review site in many places. But the UX is so godawful I can't even wrap my head around it. For example, search for a restaurant, and you get one (ONE) possible filter in browsers: star rating. There's also a "more filters" button which brings you to a separate view where star rating is the only available filter. On the phone app, sometimes I can select "open now," and a few other things about 20% of the time I use the app, and it's not clear why those options are gone the rest of the time...
I think it's a real shame, because I remember in, e.g. 2012 I thought Google Maps was an incredible revelation. It was so much better than MapQuest, it was free, fast, and just worked. If only they had open-sourced the old version before the refactor...
Anyway, I hope someone writes a nice open-source view layer that sits on top of OpenStreetMaps someday. Like a wikipedia for maps
I've definitely experienced the "wait why won't it show me the name of that street I'm clearly focused on" problem multiple times. It's especially ironic because I remember that once Maps readability was first class and an example to follow, IIRC mainly because they had a relatively simple but elegant algorithm that would aim to maintain a relatively constant information density over the area of the map at any zoom level. So if you had a very dense area only the very important labels would show and the rest would be hidden until you zoomed in, while in more sparsely populated areas you'd have a lot more detail pop up even at relatively high zoom level. That was a good compromise.
In hindsight it's completely obvious but I remember that when Maps started that was relatively innovative, I remember that many predecessors tended to emulate paper maps more closely (probably because that's what people expected back then) and were a lot more cluttered as a result.
>I think it's a real shame, because I remember in, e.g. 2012 I thought Google Maps was an incredible revelation
That seems late to me, are you sure that's the right date? I remember spending hours zooming in and out of Google Maps (and Google Earth) in the mid-to-late 2000's. Having a full map of the world to explore was mindblowing to me. Apple Maps launched in 2012!
To add another nitpick, I often want to see the name of the street I’m standing on, especially in San Francisco which doesn’t like spending money on street signs it seems. But GMaps usually requires zooming way out or panning a non-trivial distance to find that. All the other nearby streets on the map have clearly visible names without having to do that, just not the one I’m one. It happens regularly enough to be annoying.
I'm the type that prefers to look at a map to see where I'm going, and it drives me absolutely insane to have to pan up and down my route just to try to determine the name of a street I need to turn down.
For other use cases, I can somewhat empathize with the complexity of determining what street names to show. And over-cluttering with street names wouldn't be much better. But for a navigation route, the logic should be dead simple: throw a street name within the viewport if that street is part of the route.
(Yes, I fully realize I can switch to step by step directions. Maybe it's because I'm more of a visual person, or maybe I'm just old and used to using maps for directions, but I just can't stand using that view to figure out where I need to go.)
Worse is that the app will capture any link to the web maps, and AFAIK, you can't change your mapping app on Android.
Wish there was a VCS-ish way to get an intermediate version.
It seems to me that Google Maps is far more focused on being a suggestion engine than a map now.
Okay, I should just know the difference with roads that big. And okay, generally East/West interstates use even numbers representing what % of the country lies to the South while North/South use odd numbers representing what % lies to the West. But I shouldn't have to know that when I'm wondering how to avoid the accident on "that big yellow stripe that passes through D.C."
Sometimes I'll use a mapping app designed for outdoors activities, because it is so much easier to read than Google Maps.
* Primary interstates are one or two digits. Shorter spurs, loops, and connectors are three-digits.
* East-west primary interstates are even-numbered, north-south are odd.
* Major arterials are divisible by five. (The longest interstates are I-90, I-80, I-40, I-10, I-70, I-95, and I-75.)
* Odd routes increase in number going from west to east.
* Even routes increase in number from south to north.
* The last two digits of a three-digit interstate usually identify its main parent interstate. (For example, the I-310 spur connects I-10 to US 90.
And apparently there's a I-405 in Seattle. (All the I-110 spurs I've driven on.)
The idea that the highways are designed and numbered to represent the proportion of land area of the contiguous US seems specious. Source?
Edit: the interstate highway going north from Kansas City is 29, but obviously much more than 29% of the US is west of I-29.
Interestingly, US highways follow the opposite system, going from (1, 2) in the NE corner of the country (Maine) to (former) (101, 80) in San Diego.
But that doesn’t imply anything about proportion of country, however the measurement is defined.
And obviously it's not exact, just look at how close I-94/I-90 are around North Dakota and compare it to I-90/I-80 or I-80/I-70. And a lot of the "East-West" interstates go diagonally or even North-South in places.
But I doubt they made the roads by laying rulers across the map (except maybe in Kansas or Oklahoma), and it does seem like they generally increment from 0-100 in each direction with odd/evenness decided by the primary axis.
Wikipedia has a lot to say on the matter, but I got bored reading all the special cases like how they number loops that connect two highways: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System#Numb...
Regarding the street names. I usually approach the service from these 2 directions:
- Address or name of place is known. I use Maps to find out where it is and how to get there.
- Trying to find places in a certain area (Laundry, restaurants, shops, etc)
Only very rarely do I need to know a street name specifically. Not saying it‘s not important for other people though.
That's the part I don't get. Google is all about search. Their main engine is so good it's creepy. and yet, for me, it is unable to parse a perfectly well formed street address, written as recommended by the postal services.
I know it is a hard problem, but that's Google we are talking about. I also live in France (i.e. not the US) but our street addresses are not so different, and Google has a presence and generally works well here.
For example search something like "building X, 123 street, postal code, city" next to your current location and it will find a shop called X on the other side of the country. Search "123 street, postal code, city" and it will find exactly what you want, to the letter. Why? Is it that hard to throw off a small bit of information to perfectly match everything else instead of searching for an insignificant random detail? Probably harder that it looks but if there is one nontrivial thing Google can do, that's it.
This one is hugely aggravating, but there's another one that annoys me more. Try searching for "food" or "restaurants" at an intersection with 10-20+ options, Google will completely hide plenty of results. Just show me where I can eat at nearby...
Thankfully I only ever have to use Google Maps if the website integrates them into the contact section, and we have much better local mapping website/app.
Same zoom level:
Local app: https://megous.com/dl/tmp/5cbe3d860874717b.png
I can use one to comfortably find my way in the city center even without zooming, and it's not the Google Maps.
I can look at the better map, figure out where I am and where I want to get to, figure out my next few skips and turns and forget about the map for the next 5-10 minutes.
I don't need to constantly zoom around or use GPS at all. Actually, I wonder if Google made such a garbage map style just to force people to fiddle with their devices more, while they're navigating around the city, and to make them use GPS, because it's really hard to orient yourself and plan if you lose so much detail when looking at lower zoom level for overview.
This is so bad, incredibly bad. The legibility of street names is also extremely sensitive to lighting conditions (at least on iOS) which is a rare accomplishment in this age of screens that adapt their brightness in response to ambient light.
So many elements in the navigation UX are a similar color.
The worst is the Current route (light blue) and alternate routes (grey). Both of these colors are fairly similar and have very little contrast compared to the background. I have a hard time picking out the difference between a road (grey) and an alternate route (grey, slightly thicker line).
At night, when it switches to a dark color scheme, everything is a shade of dark blueish grey, with very little contrast.
A good mapping app would have different modes for this. Garmin GPS's are much more readable, which is one reason I recently bought one, even though GM in theory is better. GM is better at routing, but it is really hard to see the detail, which is dangerous if you are driving.
The UX here is one of the worst I've ever seen. Once you tap an answer you don't get a chance to change it, or even see what the question was you just answered. It's on to the next question.
Many of the questions are insane. Like "Safeway: can you buy meat here?" Hello? Safeway? It's a giant supermarket!
But one design feature constantly leads me to giving wrong answers: every card is a different color, even for questions about the same establishment.
These frenetic color changes overpower the actual business name, so it's easy to get in a rhythm of "Safeway: can you buy meat here? Yes. Can you buy paper towels here? Yes. Can you get an oil change here? No, of course not!"
Oops, what? Did that card say Safeway or Jiffy Lube? Well the card's gone now, no way to go back and check it or fix it.
The color changes are a distraction from feeling confident which business you were answering a question about. With the lack of undo, they make me feel stupid. I like software that makes me feel smart.
I like to help people, so I tried it out for a while. I would probably still be answering questions if they didn't make it so annoying! :-)
I wonder if your area has more trouble than most areas due to street shapes/density? The before and afters for me everywhere I've traveled and where I live are a huge step forward compared to old maps.
I don't note that it's changed much from this 2012 release.
On the other hand, a couple times Apple Maps has screwed me over badly by trying to route me down closed roads. Google seems to have much better knowledge of road closures.
It works normally if you bother to include the country, but telling me a place doesn't exist isn't how I'd expect it to behave
I've had the same issue, and I find it bizarre. It's really become a much less natural interaction.
It may be using OpenGL to display it now, you could try disabling webgl in your browser to check.
Like, it's a metaphorical question I must give you, but who owns the information that we as a people produce? Take away the considerations of current law, and think about it in a different paradigm. Imagine that we had some impending apocalyptic event heading towards us, and we needed to as a people work together instead of competing. (Just a rough thought experiment, not that exactly, but just come along for a bit of a ride)
In that circumstance, the human population of earth forms this more cohesive collection, and in that frame, a group of people who produce some great work of art and invention and function, and then they or other people ruin it or destroy it, or simply bury it underground. In the frame of humanity as a collective being, that happening is akin to if you have some brilliant idea that you're scared of whether it's good or not, and so you write it down and decide it's not good and throw it away, but it could have been the seed of the creation of cold fusion, or romeo and juliet, or whatever.
The metaphor breaks down quickly, but this societal, special (as in species) loss is such a cancer on us as a people, and I wish there was a way to remove its crippling effects. But then again, it's akin the balance between to the law of nature and selection, and human societal safety nets. It would be easier without it, with a safety net built around everyone, but would we be inspired to such greatness? Or, what things wouldn't have been produced without the incentive of billions? Are you sure that number is zero? Please, don't take my positions as argumentative in the debate sense. This post is part complaint and part thought experiment. I also wonder what brilliant art we've lost because a child died of malnutrition or ~~malattention~~* neglect.
* instead of erasing "malattention" the unnecessary word I just coined†, I'm striking it with pen, so that it exists. Yeah, that's a bit meta and on the nose, but I like it.
† 148 Google Results at time of writing‡, so "independent of, but created after, a few others"
‡ Receipts: https://web.archive.org/web/20191214060156if_/http://web.arc...
By the way, I really wanted to delete this instead of clicking "reply", so: You're welcome/sorry.
* personal data & attention
* opportunity cost (b/c their market domination deters investment interest in alternatives)
* advertising costs (each $ that businesses have to spend on advertising is a $ taken from R&D, profits which get reinvested in the economy, and/or consumers' pockets)
Just because you don't pay directly with money doesn't mean there isn't a cost.
They've also taken all the air out of the room such that there's very little ability for competitors to gain traction. So it's not like there's really many real options out there.
I don't really see a problem in complaining about a software product, especially when:
- It was actually BETTER before
- We're basically giving them a list of high-priority UX stories to make their product better
Leaflet is an amazing library and I've found it a very useful and powerful tool with a great plugin ecosystem. Glad they managed to land the page someplace that was less dear to them monthly.
The idea that he could apply for a “grant” to escape a poor pricing model is insulting and I think good for him for just dumping Google instead. I look forward to seeing how far the 2019 Google backlash goes.
The issue is similar to the one that ruined their custom search offering: it doesn't make them enough money to justify its existence as anything more than a public service. Unless charity is what Google had in mind when they launched the api, their behavior makes business sense.
This pricing hike is over a year and old and everywhere I see complaints and about it and not a shred of explanation from them.
I'd expect something like "Yes Google Maps was free for a long time, but it's a very expensive service to run, for the service to exist long term we needed to increase the cost. Here are some resources how to contain your costs. Here is how to apply to be a non-profit."
I have to believe there are hundreds of people at Google who fully understand this has ruined many people's projects, do they not feel some obligation to at least open up a channel of communication? Seems like a no-brainer.
Or are they just so embarrassed and so wracked with in-fighting that they can't stomach even authoring a post?
This line in the article made me laugh out loud. GCP is a full blown competitor to AWS, but it sounds like whatever marketing page the author landed on is hyping machine learning so much that they didn't even realize that.
I recently started a small SASS project for a client and decided that Heroku would be a good fit for the situation. That led me to use smaller independent service providers like Mailgun for email, Mapbox for maps, Transloadit for video encoding. I haven't needed much support but when I have I actually talk to real people (and developers on the other end). It's a very pleasant experience. I get much more of a feeling that they actually care about developers using their products. Plus it feels "good" to be supporting independent shops, instead of giant tech monoliths.
Consolidated billing can be annoying if you decide to go with many smaller, independent providers. At least Heroku covers that well.
At the office, we have AWS business level support, which has been really excellent for troubleshooting.
Before using GCP I thought highly of them. Not I actually understand why they are number 3 or 4, well deserved.
And the support is ok sometimes. But when you actually discover an issue on their end they constantly try and flog you off, and then don't get back to you for ages.
Most of these companies are super powers with blatant disregard for humanity. When it comes to the good in your life, the things around you; opportunities, options, community health... they are slowly but surely drinking your milkshake.
I got hooked on Unix when as a dev/DBA I inherited Solaris administration that I wasn't really qualified for. Sun support bootstrapped my skills and taught me alot. In another gig I had similar experiences with IBM.
It contrasted heavily against Microsoft, where even the $$$ Premier offerings are pretty awful, with lots of ridiculous hoops between you and super-skilled SEs.
Companies may suck or not, but that doesn't mean their support organization sucks.
If you notice, since inception AWS consistently returns its economies of scale as pricing drops to customers, allowing AWS to capture more market share.
They’re drinking the milkshake of incumbent IT, and you can benefit like a remora riding a shark.
The large tech company that I work for has AWS developers& support lingering in dedicated Slack channels on our company Slack where they will help talk you through any issues and keep you updated on feature requests/bugs moving through the Amazon system.
It turned out to be a bug between the newest Linux kernel available for Amazon Linux 2 and EC2, the mitigation was downgrading the kernel until an update was available.
There's a big joke going around that AWS is basically a VC that invests in startups with free services and then makes their money back on revenue once they've grown.
Suddenly, my apps were unable to connect to Firebase, after making sure that it's not me doing something wrong I contacted support and they came back to me in minutes, Together with the support engineer we debugged the issue, turned out that it was a configuration deployment error on their part and got if fixed.
What I am terrified of is having an issue with a free service that I depend on, like Gmail.
Mentioned it in the chat window and within 60 seconds I got response, 10 minutes later the feature was pushed to production.
The velocity of startups can be really nice
We have enterprise support at work with a named TAM who is amazing.
On my personal projects I have standard support and was able to speak to a very very capable tech on a sunday morning within 20 minutes.
Azure are pretty decent too, although they offload a lot of enterprise support to their partner network, but that works well enough.
GCP on the other hand...
For example, my consumer and small business experience with Microsoft support is very negative. But working in an enterprise that always elects for the most expensive support package... I have never experienced better or more personal support than from Microsoft.
I believe in doing this as well. These companies make or break themselves by delivering one product, and so you can trust they're going to do a very committed job of it. In comparison, services from Google seem like they're done by rotating groups of people who don't really care about what they're doing, and there's no longevity in the services unless they're super profitable.
I'd assume GCP's support is poor, but I admit I'm basing that bias solely on my AdAwords support experience, which is and has always been, ludicrously bad.
I guess you get what you pay for.
Bing Maps actually has a pretty decent free usage quota that should fit most such projects (either free or low cost).
Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
I miss the Bing maps that was innovating and delivering regularly, but I haven't taken them seriously since 2016 at least; this is coming from a former Bing fanboy.
edit - links:
* Azure Maps: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/azure-maps/
* Bing Maps: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/maps/choose-your-bing-maps-a...
- Azure uses TomTom
- Bing uses HERE (formerly Navteq/Nokia)
Did Microsoft buy all of Nokia? Or just their phone business?
Related - Uber hired/bought many of the engineers and assets involved in Bing Maps' data: https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/29/uber-acquires-part-of-bing...
Presumably, Google has done the market research here and had found that this level of pricing will end up maximizing revenue. It would be interesting to have a generally accepted model for these no money now, money later business models based on some measure of industry lock in. That way it would be possible to do the pricing at the start of a project rather than part of the way through when everyone had forgotten to budget anything.
The Googles of the world get to know how much our projects are going to cost, why can't we at least get an idea?
On top of that an instance that claims to have specific parameters won't deliver the same performance as supposedly equivalent physical machine, so you will need to use bigger instances etc.
Ultimately the project did not have resources to set up DR version which was originally planned and still went way over the budget.
That is really true. Google isn't for the small devs anymore, they're too big to care about us. They need to cross that trillion dollar mark and it seems everything's about profits right now.
Lesson: Don't even touch google apis unless you're a really large corporation willing to spend >10k per month. Even if you're a really large corporation, have a plan B, because google will still fuck you over with their APIs changing without much notice.
I like it because I can download an entire state with just a few clicks. And the UI isn't cluttered by "explore your neighborhood" nonsense.