Google Deprecates Maps API for Flash

 Google has recently announced on its Geo Development Blog that it will deprecated the Google Maps API for Flash, this means that Google will no longer invest in the development of this API, but will keep it accessible and will try to respond to any problems with the API for up to three years in accordance with its terms and conditions.

While this is a sad announcement to Flash developers, it should be mentioned that it is still possible to use the Google JavaScripts Maps API within Flash projects by loading it as an HTML page, which may just work for some projects even though it cannot be controlled as easy using ActionScript.

There are other alternatives to the Google Maps API for Flash such as the excellent MapQuest AS3 API which is optimized for both the web and Mobile (something not currently provided by any other AS3 Maps API). Make sure you check out MapQuest if you are interested in building a mobile map application using Flash or Flex for iOS or Android.

  • Cedric Nicolas

    Google Maps for Flash API has a subtle difference with its Javascript counter part : It can be used with the Adobe AIR technology, which enables offline out-of-browser stand alone apps. We have a 50k lines of code B2B app based on this now deprecated API. This announcement is a big hurdle for us, as porting to javascript is not only very costly, but moreover technically impossible as the data security and performance we can expect from browser based apps is far below what we can get from Flash AIR.Google just forgot that they have “Premier” customer like us, charged thousands of dollars a year, that are making their business on top of this API. With only 10 customers like us they could have easily financed the small team on their side required to maintain their API. An info to add to the article, is that they have deprecated it for a support period of 3 years, meaning that after 3 years, they will probably cut access to the back end side, as it would require to ensure backward compatibility with Flash API in the future, then additional costs for them.This decision from Google means that we would have to switch to another maps provider in the 3 years to come, anyway. And reading the API Forum, we are far from being alone to think about this. What value Google is loosing there ?My feeling is that decision is not a matter of team resources to maintain the API, but very likely linked to a future Flash competing technology that Google prepares, or a negotiation blocking issue with Adobe, about moving Flash API to extended ad business Goggle will surely add into maps API. Or both reasons…

  • LIAM

    That’s not why it has nothing to do with Adobe but actually it has something to do with Apple. See Google doesn’t’ want people to develop multiform apps because that means they are developing for their competition. And hurting adobe is a bigger mistake, I’d venture to guess the
    majority of their developers are cross platform developers, alienating
    them increases the risk of people going back to developing solely for iPhone.That’s why soon after they deprecated it they added a full g maps API for android. If there was a way to ensure that the api would have only been used for android development they wouldn’t have deprecated it. But all they really did is stab themselves in the foot and look bad, because android is the worst OS I’ve eve seen and I refuse to develop for them unless it comes at 0 development cost. I would love to see adobe convert and run the java script api into a flash api and host it in house. There is no law against using an api as a generator for another api. And as for googles anti competitive nature on this issue, well it makes me question them as a company. Considering the amount of money they make it’s a very shallow maneuver to try. It kind of makes me sick to think about all the mapping acquisitions they have made only to sit on it. If these companies hadn’t been bought out they surely would have looked after their own interests and tried to make it available on as many devices as possible.

  • http://www.wedrive.mobi Cédric NICOLAS

    Finally, I did the port to MapQuest API for Flash in 3 weeks in my AIR Application. Thanks to the code architecture with MVC framework PureMVC, it was quite easy. The only problem of MapQuest API, is that it is quite poorly documented, but at the end i was able to do all what i was doing with Google API. MapQuest is even a bit faster and efficient, so it improved my app…

  • LIAM

    Yes I started looking at the mapquest api myself although I’m finding the resources to be quiet sparse. Can you help me with that 4696671281 or rhoadeswilliam1@gmail.com I’m trying to get the map to display within a flash program. I can’t find where to download the component and I also don’t know how to use it.