Thanks to Mapbox, GNOME Maps Is Active Again
GNOME Maps for desktop lost development support earlier this month when MapQuest changed its usage policy, but thanks to the new routing method, it is back in the game.
It was unfortunate that MapQuest restricted usage of its free tile service and we think it is also unreasonable because the change led to many open-source mapping applications working on various platforms to rethink their map provisions.
MapBox is the alternative provider for Gnome Maps now and it is an open-source mapping service.
According to what the GNOME Maps developer, Jonas Danielsson, wrote in the changelog which will accompany the upcoming release as he talked about the decision to readjust commitments with regards to the latest stable builds of GNOME Maps in the 3.20.x stable series,
“With this [3.20.4] release we switch from using the MapQuest open API for fetching tiles. And instead we start using Mapbox API. Using an community API key from Mapbox.
Mapbox is a company with a commitment to Open source. And provides infrastructure that will allow us to do more with Maps. We are accessing the Mapbox API through a GNOME proxy that will allow us to easier switch our tile provider/URI in the future.”
We don’t know for how long Jonas will stick with Mapbox but the app already looks good in its present state. Suggestions by Wikimedia entail that its own Cartographical project and Production Maps Cluster could offer the application a more stable solution.
Maybe because of this switch Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 will ship with the Maps app; Fingers crossed guys.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.