History of Using Hosted Map Services Placebase, Poly9 & ZeeMaps

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Thousands of people & companies use ZeeMaps.com on a daily basis to publish map data.  How has ZeeMaps become so successful?  One word . . .  "Simplicity".

Existing mapping tools like ESRI & Google Maps still require advance API programming knowledge to write code and then publish maps with multiple layers to web sites.

Placebase was a pioneer in the mapping space and provided a similar mapping service called Pushpin and was sold to Apple in 2009.  Unfortunately, Apple didn't care about the customers like me using the product and only wanted the engineering team and quickly shutdown the map product shortly after.  Pretty stupid if you ask me.  Apple Maps is still years behind Google Maps I think for this reason.  One reason we think Apple acquired Placebase was because our map Deadcellzones.com was their most popular map and carriers & Apple didn't like users complaining about where and why their phone didn't work.

A year later in 2010 Apple acquired Poly9 which was a similar hosted mapping service called Mapspread.com.  We were also a customer of Mapspread after Pushpin.com shutdown.  Another stupid move on Apple's part.  We only had 2 maps on the service at the time Deadcellzones.com and PhotoEnforced.com

Since 2011, Syndicated Maps have been using ZeeMaps which has figured out a way to make the data data management very simple in the cloud.  No other mapping service has figured out a way to make the data management feature so easy and affordable.  Most other mapping services require customers to use, manage and connect an existing cloud database into a mapping service.  Not trivial.

Syndicated Maps now have a network of 10+ public safety maps that are managed in the cloud using the service.  Each map a similar hosted iframe with advertising wrapped around the map experience:

Photo Enforced Map  |  Cell Phone Coverage Map  |  Dangerous Intersections Map  |  Oil & Gas Drilling Map  |  Solar Energy Map  |  Oil & Gas Refineries Map  |  Power Plants Map  |  Sick Buildings Map  |  Smelly Hotel Rooms Map  |  Dangerous Schools Map  |  Disaster Relief Maps  |  Concert Tour Maps  |  Hockey Map  |  Theater Maps 

Where Are The Google Public Safety "Near Me" Map Products?


Google's product team is highly focused on helping consumers find products & services "near me" based on the trend of search terms. However, when will Google Maps begin to build products based on public safety issues "near me"?

The public and private data is out there should Google choose to use it. Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas Lisa Gevelber explains why “near me” searches are no longer just about place, but about time and things as well.  Read the full article.

Google Maps 10X Price Increase

Google Maps announced today a massive price increase for map developers.  Google is so massive now that they probably didn't realize they will cannibalize and lose thousands of customers as a result of this insane price increase.  Here is an example that will give you perspective.

Just to give you a perspective how unfair and ridiculous this is to startups here is a simple example.  Before the recent price increase Google Maps charged approximately .50 cent CPMs for map views. That is .50 cents for every thousand visitors.  Now they are proposing to charge $5 CPMs for map views.  For most companies who publish information on maps for free (with ads) it is now unprofitable to publish any sort of Google Map.

This will effectively cannibalize Google's advertising business long term that so heavily depends on small businesses and publishers.  For publishers who rely on Google AdSense you can effectively say goodbye to any geospatial related information published on Google Maps.  If a publisher is making on average $1-5 CPMs from advertising how can you pay Google Maps effectively a $5 CPM (new pricing) without losing money? 

Well . . . they effectively shut me down or forced me to use another map platform like MapBox, Here, TomTom, Open Street Map.  There are huge costs associated with moving to a new platform.  I have been using Google Maps to publish public safety information since they launched Google Maps 10+ years ago.  Its sad to see that the company has become so big that it is forgotten about the small businesses that thrive under the platforms.   

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