[OpenLayers-Dev] 2.11 blocker: remove GoogleNG

Tim Schaub tschaub at opengeo.org
Wed Aug 31 15:55:09 EDT 2011

Hey Andreas,

I want to clarify that I think the work you did on the GoogleNG layer 
was great.  The words I used in the email below and on the ticket are 
really just an indirect rephrasing of the message from the Google Maps 
Product Manager - and I don't want it to come across as message direct 
from me.

 From our perspective (using OpenLayers), we want nothing but tiles.  It 
is extra overhead to pull in a complete mapping API.  Since we can't 
completely control the user interaction by wrapping another mapping API, 
we end up with some awkward interactions.  Your use of the (well 
documented) getTile method was an excellent way to get what we want. 
And I know you made every effort to honor the terms of service, with 
particular focus on displaying their copyright information.  It all felt 
like a great solution.

 From Google's perspective (I'm imagining here), they want complete 
control over the mapping interface.  I can imagine that at some point 
they'll want to drop clickable business icons in there for advertisers - 
or something similar.  They also work hard to provide a very slick user 
experience with animation and the like.  I'm sure that just as much as 
we don't like seeing our overlays looking sloppy with their tiles, they 
don't like seeing their tiles look sloppy with our map interaction.

I don't want to say that the two are completely incompatible, but I'm 
sure others would agree that OpenLayers is better suited for use with 
providers that allow direct access to tiles.  Using OpenLayers with Bing 
tiles, OSM tiles from MapQuest or openstreetmap.org, and other similar 
providers is a better match in my opinion.

We've gotten some generous support from a few sponsors recently (see 
http://openlayers.org/sponsorship/ and more details in upcoming weeks). 
  My hope is that we can dedicate some funds to improving (among other 
things) our own user interaction, including nicer animation on zooming 
and panning.  This is somewhat unrelated, but my point is that I hope we 
can continue improving what OpenLayers does best and ideally not invest 
too much in trying to integrate with a black box over which we have 
little control.

That said, it's an obvious win if OpenLayers can work with Google Maps 
in a way that satisfies all parties.


On 8/31/11 1:01 AM, Andreas Hocevar wrote:
> I'm terribly sorry for the trouble the GoogleNG layer has caused in
> the end. I wrote it with the goal in mind to integrate Google Maps
> better into OpenLayers, without violating the terms of use. The way I
> did it I was sure it would comply with the terms, because I only used
> a documented API method to retrieve tiles. The tiles are managed by
> the GMaps API and only positioned by OpenLayers. And even the way the
> attribution is loaded is documented
> (http://mapki.com/wiki/Google_Map_Parameters#Misc), but unfortunately
> not in the official API docs.
> I hope some day the organizations involved in OpenLayers can actively
> help improve the Google Maps layer situation, by either convincing
> Google to resolve the issues we have with the GMaps v3 API (which are
> all reported in the GMaps issue tracker), or to allow tile access in
> some way.
> If anybody wants to get started with this way to improve the
> situation, feel free to contact me for details on what we would need
> to better integrate GMaps into OpenLayers.
> Andreas.
> On Aug 31, 2011, at 01:28 , Tim Schaub wrote:
>> Hey,
>> I regret to say we've got to hold off on the 2.11 release until we
>> pull the GoogleNG layer.
>> This layer uses the google.maps.MapType getTile method
>> (http://code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/javascript/reference.html#MapType)
>> to retrieve individual tiles and renders the layer as with other
>> XYZ layers.
>> A primary intent of Google's terms of use is that the individual
>> tiles are not accessed directly.  Instead, users need to use the
>> whole map interface to render a layer.  We've been given a bit of
>> grace with the way that we wrap the Google Maps API, but this case
>> is a more clear cut violation.
>> In addition, to display copyright information, the layer uses an
>> undocumented method of pulling in image attribution information.
>> There are cases where the attribution information we are displaying
>> is incorrect.  Using an undocumented method and displaying improper
>> copyright information violate the terms of use.
>> I've put together a patch to remove the GoogleNG layer.  Anybody
>> using this layer from the trunk should modify their examples to use
>> a different layer instead.
>> http://trac.osgeo.org/openlayers/ticket/3481
>> Tim
>> On 8/28/11 10:33 AM, christopher.schmidt at nokia.com wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I'd like to put forward a motion to release the current OL 2.11
>>> RC3 as the final OL 2.11 release unless we hear any showstopping
>>> regressions by Wednesday morning.
>>> If anyone has any reason not to do this, speak now or forever
>>> hold your peace :)
>>> +1 crschmidt
>>> -- Chris_______________________________________________ Dev
>>> mailing list Dev at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/openlayers-dev
>> -- Tim Schaub OpenGeo - http://opengeo.org Enterprise support for
>> open source geospatial.
>> _______________________________________________ Dev mailing list
>> Dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/openlayers-dev

Tim Schaub
OpenGeo - http://opengeo.org
Enterprise support for open source geospatial.

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