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Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMaps
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Cristian Streng
Founder


Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 4585

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMaps Reply with quote

I have recently received a letter from Google asking me to remove support for Google maps from MGMaps:

Quote:

From: Google Enforcement Team <tmdisputes at google dot com>
To: me
Subject: Unauthorized use of content - Mobile Gmaps

Dear Mr. Streng,

We understand that you have developed an application, Mobile Gmaps,
that displays maps tiles from our Google Maps for mobile application.
You probably did this to show support for Google, but this use of our
map tiles violates our rights and the rights of the entities that
license those map tiles to us. As indicated in the Terms of Service
accompanying Google Maps for mobile
(http://www.google.com/gmm/tc.html?hl=en), you should not create
derivative works, such as your application, without contacting us and
obtaining our permission first.

Because your use of our content is not authorized, we must ask that
you stop displaying maps tiles from Google Maps for mobile in your own
application. Please confirm immediately that you will do so.

Regards,

Google Enforcement Team

I deeply regret this decision by Google and I believe that it is only going to result in making people use Google's competitors, but... that's their decision.
So what other options are available to you? Well, plenty of them: MGMaps includes support for maps from Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask.com and OpenStreetMap.org (who all offer great maps by the way). I am also adding a configurable URL to MGMaps v1.36 where you can enter any map server of your choice.

I am still hoping that Google will change their minds and return to the innovative spirit that brought us great products like the Google Maps API. But apparently this spirit is slowly going away.

In the mean time, I am truly sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you. I will disable support for Google Maps and will update all versions of MGMaps later this week.

Post your comments below.

Cristian
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mwice
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Russia
Phone Type: nokia n95-8Gb

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh !!!! Thats a sad day.
I dont think any of another map providers have at least near Russia maps quality Sad Sad Sad Sad

Cristian... Please comment, what exactly you going to remove. I think generic MGMapsCache dir
with Map1_zoom0 Map1_zoom1 Map2_zoom0 Map2_zoom1 etc catalogs remove
responsibility from you about which tiles user will put there... ?

So MGMaps can scan cache dir for dir names and show Map1 Map2 in maps selection...

I understand what you have to remove direct online google map support, but please think how
to leave us a chance to use offline google maps.

Edit: and what about programm name ? It means Google however...

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Cristian Streng
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Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 4585

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwice wrote:
Argh !!!! Thats a sad day.
I dont think any of another map providers have at least near Russia maps quality Sad Sad Sad Sad

Cristian... Please comment, what exactly you going to remove. I think generic MGMapsCache dir
with Map1_zoom0 Map1_zoom1 Map2_zoom0 Map2_zoom1 etc catalogs remove
responsibility from you about which tiles user will put there... ?

So MGMaps can scan cache dir for dir names and show Map1 Map2 in maps selection...

I understand what you have to remove direct online google map support, but please think how
to leave us a chance to use offline google maps.

Edit: and what about programm name ? It means Google however...

1) Support for online google maps support will be removed. The list of map sources will still include Google's, but will not retrieve any map tiles from their servers.

2) Default enabled maps will be changed to Yahoo or Microsoft, probably Yahoo.

3) Support for custom maps will be added. This means that you can add support for any map server that splits the world map into tiles according to some rules.

4) Downloaded Google maps tiles will still be usable. I'm not going to change the perl script in any way, and the list of maps in MGMaps will still include google maps, satellite, hybrid, China.

5) Generic stored maps will be supported, not exactly in the form you are suggesting. The program will not scan for maps (at least not yet), but for any custom map defined it will look for corresponding stored tiles. For example, if you name a custom map source "Map1" it will look for folders named "Map1_0", "Map1_1" and so on.

and 6) The program name is Mobile GMaps. GMaps is not a trademark of Google, therefore considering the points above too, I don't see any reasons to change the name.


Last edited by Cristian Streng on Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mwice
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Thats all i wanted to know.
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RangerRick
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Joined: 31 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMa Reply with quote

Quote:

As indicated in the Terms of Service accompanying Google Maps for mobile
(http://www.google.com/gmm/tc.html?hl=en), you should not create
derivative works, such as your application, without contacting us and
obtaining our permission first.


Silly question, but didn't your app exist before they had a mobile app? If I recall correctly, you had created it when there was only the google maps web site...

Wouldn't that mean it is not a derivative work? To be a derivative, I would think you would have to derive it from theirs. Wink

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Cristian Streng
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Joined: 28 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMa Reply with quote

RangerRick wrote:
Quote:

As indicated in the Terms of Service accompanying Google Maps for mobile
(http://www.google.com/gmm/tc.html?hl=en), you should not create
derivative works, such as your application, without contacting us and
obtaining our permission first.


Silly question, but didn't your app exist before they had a mobile app? If I recall correctly, you had created it when there was only the google maps web site...

Wouldn't that mean it is not a derivative work? To be a derivative, I would think you would have to derive it from theirs. Wink

They got several things wrong in that message. MGMaps in fact does not use tiles from Google maps for mobile, it uses Google maps (for web) data. But they did come back with another message:
Quote:

Dear Mr. Streng,

The API license only applies if you use our API. As we understand it,
you are taking and displaying our raw map tiles, which we do not
authorize anyone to do. You are also creating a derivative work which
very closely resembles our own mobile mapping application and using
our trademarks without prior permission or a license, which again is
not allowed.

Please confirm that you will stop displaying our map tiles and/or stop
distributing your application which contains those map tiles.

Regards,

Google Enforcement Team
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mwice
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Russia
Phone Type: nokia n95-8Gb

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMa Reply with quote

Cristian Streng wrote:
Quote:

Dear Mr. Streng,

The API license only applies if you use our API. As we understand it,
you are taking and displaying our raw map tiles, which we do not
authorize anyone to do. You are also creating a derivative work which
very closely resembles our own mobile mapping application and using
our trademarks without prior permission or a license, which again is
not allowed.

Please confirm that you will stop displaying our map tiles and/or stop
distributing your application which contains those map tiles.

Regards,

Google Enforcement Team


Typical ... who distribute application with tiles ? Where their trademarks used ? I think there are disclaimer ?

By the way... what is their API ? Some javascript ? Is there are some way to use it in programms not on wed ?

And question i forgot to ask.. what will happen with www.gmap-rack.com ? I guess it use API ?

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RangerRick
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMa Reply with quote

Quote:
The API license only applies if you use our API.

True enough, although I think it's a bit silly -- the net effect is essentially identical. But I can understand people not liking sidestepping the official APIs.

Quote:
You are also creating a derivative work which
very closely resembles our own mobile mapping application

Technically they're creating a work that resembles yours. Wink The earliest reference I can find to GMM is in 2006, and your first release was in 2005.

Quote:
and using our trademarks without prior permission or a license, which again is not allowed.

This, I would think, is a legitimate concern as well. Trademark law is very picky and you have to be very diligent in appropriately referencing the trademarks when using someone else's name.

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Cristian Streng
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Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 4585

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Google requests removal of Google Maps support from MGMa Reply with quote

RangerRick wrote:
Quote:
You are also creating a derivative work which
very closely resembles our own mobile mapping application

Technically they're creating a work that resembles yours. Wink The earliest reference I can find to GMM is in 2006, and your first release was in 2005.

Yes, Mobile GMaps is older than GMM (gmm was called glm initially and appeared in November 2005, while MGMaps was launched in July 2005). Still, they are saying I'm creating derivative work of Google maps and not of Google maps for mobile.

mwice wrote:
By the way... what is their API ? Some javascript ? Is there are some way to use it in programms not on wed ?

Their API is indeed some javascript, no way to use it in non-web software. Although, mgmaps is technically just some web software that retrieves map tiles from Google over plain HTTP with no higher level protocol or authentication.

mwice wrote:
And question i forgot to ask.. what will happen with www.gmap-track.com ? I guess it use API ?

Yes, it uses the API so there's no problem with that.

Cristian
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adszhu
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Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Budapest
Phone Type: Unknown

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crisitian, I am awfully sorry to hear the news. I wonder what the reasons are behind. Maybe its time for GMM to support GPS, but I am not sure if the presence of MGMaps is against it, by any meaning...
I do believe in MGMaps and keep an eye on your RSS Smile
Ádám
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Cristian Streng
Founder


Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 4585

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adszhu wrote:
Crisitian, I am awfully sorry to hear the news. I wonder what the reasons are behind. Maybe its time for GMM to support GPS, but I am not sure if the presence of MGMaps is against it, by any meaning...
I do believe in MGMaps and keep an eye on your RSS Smile
Ádám

It's not all that bad, the downloader script will still be functional, and the custom map support may compensate for the predefined Google maps.
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steeven
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it possible to ask google to relase a licnese for mgmaps?

the official google maps for mobile is too simple for users.

we should send letters to google to complain about the weird decision.
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Cristian Streng
Founder


Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 4585

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steeven wrote:
is it possible to ask google to relase a licnese for mgmaps?

You would be asking them to change their terms... of course it's possible, but judging on the contents of those emails I got from them, it's useless, they wouldn't do something like that.
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spadival
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it took some time for Google Enforcement Team to wake up !! If anything, I feel this is gonna make Mgmaps more popular without crippling its functionality.

Have they said anything about using Google search/routing from mgmaps?
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Cristian Streng
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Joined: 28 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spadival wrote:
I think it took some time for Google Enforcement Team to wake up !! If anything, I feel this is gonna make Mgmaps more popular without crippling its functionality.

I hope so too... Smile

spadival wrote:
Have they said anything about using Google search/routing from mgmaps?

No, they didn't mind about that (yet).
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anujpurohit
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Joined: 27 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cristian ,
Its very sad to hear tht.. but as u said tht you would be providing a URL option from where we can use server , so that includes our dream server:?: .. and if not cant something be done , like users can use every feature on their own risk sort of....

As the map tiler script may also be called of by google .. so like installing a module on owner risk without your support....

Fingers Crossed
(If Not Good Bye Google and MGmaps will always ROCK!!!!!)
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Cristian Streng
Founder


Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 4585

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: MGMaps v1.36 Reply with quote

Mobile GMaps v1.36.00 is now available, it includes support for custom maps as well as a re-designed screen to choose available map sources. You can add custom maps or enable/disable available maps in Settings/Map Types - then switch the map with "0".

Cristian
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Cinq-Marquis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sorry to hear this (as I am a Google fan).
I'd have thought that Mr. G/. would contact you with the message that a check for $ 5,000,000.00 was on its way to you for your excellent work !

Apart from the tech stuff.... will it still work on my N95 or should I remove it ?
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avs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be possible to use the wikimapia?
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zangetsu
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow. i never would have said google sucks, but now i do
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