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wes
It seems that with version 2.2, HoudahGeo is using OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps. Unfortunately, it seems that there is no way of accessing any of the Google Maps contents directly within HoudahGeo anymore. At least, that's my conclusion after I checked all the preferences and options available. If this is not the case, please point me to the right direction.

If my conclusion is correct, this would cause me two annoyances.

First, I can no longer use Google Maps' satellite imagery within HoudahGeo. If I want to see that data I always need to load Google Earth.

Second, OpenStreetMap's map quality falls far short of what's available in Google Maps. Now, you may be thinking from my previous posts that South Korea's maps weren't accessible by Google Maps API, so ANY map is better than NO map. This was true for a while, but as of last month, restriction about accessing South Korea maps from API or .com address seem to have been lifted. Check out the following links and you'll notice that they're now showing identical level of map details.

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=35.907757,127.766922&spn=3.559173,4.943848&z=8

http://maps.google.co.kr/?ie=UTF8&ll=35.907757,127.766922&spn=3.559173,4.943848&z=8

Google Maps for Windows Mobile devices also reflect this change, as I can see street maps for South Korea with it nowadays, whereas I was only able to access satellite imagery before. And I didn't even upgrade the software's version when the change happened.

Therefore, it would be far more useful for HoudahGeo to display Google Maps data instead of OpenStreetMap data for me.

So I ask that HoudahGeo bring Google Maps, at least as an option in the preferences, back for map geocoding function and map preview. Failing that, I'll have to stick to version 2.1, but that woud be far from ideal.
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bonzon
I follow res' request, and prefer Google Maps data in my area, which are of better quality.

Maybe it's an issue of licensing and price with Google? Because of the heavy usage that all instances of HoudahGeo generate all together.


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houdah
Hi!

The full story is that over a year ago Google threatened to ban HoudahGeo from accessing Google Maps. Google does not allow the use of Google Maps in products that are only available to paying customers. We feel that HoudahGeo played by that rule as all maps were hosted on a web server accessible for free by all. HoudahGeo was merely displaying these web pages. Moreover all map features in HoudahGeo are fully enabled in the free demo version.

In the end however, Google has the right to revoke Google Maps API licenses even without providing a reason. As contact with Google broke off with no definitive conclusion, we had to live with the risk of Google pulling the plug any day. Thus we halted all investments in map interfaces. We shifted focus to Google Earth integration.

With HoudahGeo 2.2 we wanted to bring map geocoding forward. It however still seemed to make no sense to invest in a feature that may vanish any day now. The solution was to switch to a different provider. Personally I think that the many improvements to map geocoding outweigh the loss of quality in map material.

The real question now is how HoudahGeo users feel about the new maps. Should negative feelings turn out to be widespread we will need to explore other options.

Actually we already have considered another option. Now that the new maps are operational, we would indeed have the possibility to keep using Google Maps until Google finally makes up their mind. Should they pull the plug on us we will always have the new maps as a fallback solution.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.
Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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bonzon
I vote to keep using Google Maps while Google doesn't pull the plug, and then use new maps as a backup solution.

I prefer Google Maps because the satellite view enables a much more precise geocoding, as we can see the houses, etc. I can achieve the same with Google Earth, but I think it's much more convenient to stay in HoudahGeo with Google Maps.

iPhoto '09 is available only to paying customers of iLife '09 (provided they bought their mac before iLife '09 was released), and still it has Google Maps data. So it must possible to deal with Google...


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houdah
Hi!

Sorry, I was not clear about this: Google does sell licenses for commercial use. They however don't seem very proactive about this. I actually contacted Google repeatedly about licensing before I started using Google Maps in HoudahGeo. Thing is I never heard back from them.

I guess Apple has a better chance of getting a reply to such a request. Also I later learned that Google asks for astronomical license fees. These are rather within Apple's budget than ours.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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mactsk
Being the things like that, i think it can be a case of "silence assent"...

Also for me google maps (for the satellite view) is better.

however i found very nice the function "find nearby on panoramio" to see other nice photos and assuring my position was right
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DMantee
I guess it kind of depends on what kind of pictures you take (and where). For me, the terrain map on Google maps is my favorite as I do a lot of landscape photography. It's almost a bit disconcerting to see that map window with virtually no features listed at all, not even state boundaries or lakes and rivers. I'd like to add my vote to bring back the ability to use Google Maps.

SamS

P.S. Google Earth does work fine and I'm Geocoding my pictures now with an AMOD Tracker, so it's just my older pictures...
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wes
If Google Earth will eventually have to be relied upon for any satellite imagery based geocoding for HoudahGeo, then I have a suggestion to make the geocoding work less inconvenient.

The sub-windows like Inspector, Map, Preview, Track Inspector, and even Map Geocoding needs to stay visible even when Google Earth has the application focus. As of right now, when I try to geocode using Google Earth, all of these sub-windows disappear, leaving only one sub-window - Google Earth Geocoding - along with HoudahGeo's main window, next to Google Earth.

This is particularly inconvenient for several reasons. The Preview sub-window shows a much larger picture compared to that little thumbnail provided by Google Earth Geocoding sub-window. I have lots of bookmarked locations saved in Map Geocoding sub-window that I need to access right away during geocoding. I also fill in metadata in Inspector sub-window when I'm geocoding. I have to click on HoudahGeo, sometimes twice, to get these sub-windows showing again just so I can use them.

Therefore, regardless of whether Google Maps is available within HoudahGeo or not, this disappearing sub-window issue needs to be resolved. In the least, the user should be able to control the visibility during off-focus.
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thkl
To be honest, I do not like the new map interface without the satellite view. I prefer the the old one. If this feature is still in the next version of the app, I have to switch to Google Earth to geocode my images.
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houdah
Hi all!

I consider the votes show a majority in favor of Google Maps.

Thus Google Maps will return in HoudahGeo 2.2.3. We will just wait until Google makes up its mind. If then they decide to pull the plug we will always have Cloudmade/OpenStreetMaps as a fallback solution.

Best,
Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s. à r. l.
https://www.houdah.com

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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wes
Thank you! I now see Google Maps in version 2.2.3. Google Maps' South Korea street maps show up wonderfully within HoudahGeo.
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