Google maps and RunningAHEAD (Read 400 times)

Chris Owens


    I'll echo what a few others have said, I didn't realize the subscription was a low as it is, and have no idea what benefits come with it....I've ignorantly assumed that it just meant no ads.  I'm going to subscribe as soon as I get done typing here, but had I been aware (and that is probably mostly the result of my attention span) I would have years ago.

    March April May June, Disappointment 0k

    Oct 31, Javalina Jundred

     

    DavePNW


      I looked into what OpenStreetMap provides and it looks like it has all the features I need to migrate.I don't know how accurate their data is, but literally anything is cheaper than what Google is charging everyone.

       

      When I first added maps to RA, I have to write all the code to edit maps. There are various plugins in OpenStreetMap to replace most of the code I wrote. I just need to glue everything together so that should reduce the development time.

       

      It looks like the bulk of the cost is split between Google maps and directions, which is used to navigate from point A to point B. I'm not surprised that there are so many map views, but I'm surprised by the number of direction requests. I don't have any numbers on usage between subscribers, non-subscribers, and anonymous users. Regardless, I might do a phased roll out by first creating a map viewer, which should cut the cost by half, and then a map editor.

       

      Whatever you do - please keep the Run Spots feature! That is indispensable when traveling.

      Dave


      Interval Junkie --Nobby

         

        Whatever you do - please keep the Run Spots feature! That is indispensable when traveling.

         

        +1

        2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

        eric :)


           

          Interesting. I draw maps all the time (and then don't save them) to plan out long run routes. I don't really need to, it's usually just to confirm what I think I know. I'll stop doing this.

           

          At this point I basically can estimate the distance between any two points within 10 miles of my house to within a tenth of a mile anyway.

           

          No need to do that. According to https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/pricing/sheet/, directions cost $4 per 1000 requests. I assume each request is a single click on the map. Even if you do 1,000 a month, the $4 you're saving me is just a drop in the bucket.

          Finance Guy


            A few years ago, geocaching.com ran into the same issue with Google charging a lot for map features. They ultimately switched to a variety of other map options.

             

            These are the different map options they provide users on their website:

            • Geocaching (this is the default option if you don't check anything)
            • OpenStreetMap Default
            • OpenStreetMap German Style
            • OpenStreetMap Black and White
            • Thunderforest OpenCycleMap
            • Thunderforest Transport
            • Thunderforest Landscape
            • Stamen Toner
            • Stamen Terrain
            • Stamen Watercolor
            • Esri WorldStreetMap
            • Esri DeLorme
            • Esri WorldTopoMap
            • Esri WorldImagery
            • Esri OceanBasemap
            • Esri NatGeoWorldMap 

            I'm a Finance Guy and not a techie or web designer, so I do not know what goes into creating a site like this. But, perhaps there are other map options which are equally good if not better than Google Maps. In my opinion, of all of the options listed above, I really like the "OpenStreetMap Default" option the best, as it generally shows a lot more trails than what the Google Maps default shows, especially outside of the US.

            LedLincoln


            not bad for mile 25

              I looked into what OpenStreetMap provides and it looks like it has all the features I need to migrate.I don't know how accurate their data is, but literally anything is cheaper than what Google is charging everyone.

               

              When I first added maps to RA, I have to write all the code to edit maps. There are various plugins in OpenStreetMap to replace most of the code I wrote. I just need to glue everything together so that should reduce the development time.

               

              It looks like the bulk of the cost is split between Google maps and directions, which is used to navigate from point A to point B. I'm not surprised that there are so many map views, but I'm surprised by the number of direction requests. I don't have any numbers on usage between subscribers, non-subscribers, and anonymous users. Regardless, I might do a phased roll out by first creating a map viewer, which should cut the cost by half, and then a map editor.

               

              This sounds quite encouraging. I know it's not trivial to rewrite your code, especially while keeping a busy site functioning, but hope it works out.

               

              For my first several years here, I relied heavily/exclusively on the maps to determine my mileage, as I did not have GPS. Less now that I have a Garmin.

               

              Regarding raising the annual subscription, I agree with the others who say $10 is a great bargain; however, you might want to consider that in attracting new subscribers, there are competitors out there. If I were evaluating a website, and didn't yet know the true value of RA, I would be a lot more likely to be willing to pay $10 than $50 to find out.

              Egotist (n.) A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

              -Ambrose Bierce

              Docket_Rocket


              boricua eskimo

                First, thanks for everything you do, Eric.  I agree with what others have said. The subscription is pretty low as it is so if you end up keeping Google Maps, I would leave it available to subscribers only and try to find a better option for you.

                Damaris

                zoom-zoom


                rectumdamnnearkilledem

                  I'd be totally cool with moving away from Google mapping. I stopped using The Google-Borg as my search engine, a few months back, and switched to Duck Duck Go.

                   

                  Ultimately, I'm good with whatever works best to keep RA feasible for a bunch more decades. If a subscription is enabled for users to make use of mapping and there are concerns with it preventing new users from joining, perhaps new users could be given something like a 15-30 day free trial. That should give people enough time to play with the mapping and determine whether it's worth their investment to subscribe long-term.

                  '20 Goals:

                  Survive the 'Rona • Cover 4000 miles (3300 on-bike, 700 on-foot) • Duathlon podiums • Keep bustin' ass -1 lung lobe and assorted guts parts • Continue showing Cancer that it's not welcome back. Ever. • Improve power:weight ratio • $1000

                   

                  Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

                  remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

                       ~ Sarah Kay

                    I started using this site many years ago because a friend suggested it.  He mentioned that it was a free site.  What a great opportunity to test something without obligation.  Well, I used it for years not even thinking of subscribing.  However, the Ads finally forced me to look into the subscription.  It was during one of the election years, and the amount of political ads appearing on the page was too much for me to handle.

                     

                    I paid the $10, and I've enjoyed the Ad free service since.  I don't use the maps feature at this time.  I really don't need it.  It seems like quite a few others like it a lot.  By paying the raising costs to Google only make it more likely that they will continue to raise the price.  If there is another option of mapping service (which several have been mentioned), perhaps maneuvering to a new service may be an acceptable option.

                     

                    Honestly, thinking back on it.  Your service is worth more than the $10 a year.  However, there are many of users that may not want to pay for something that they've gotten for free.  I certainly will continue to do so.  I really appreciate what it provides, and am thankful to have it.

                    mdolley


                    Funky kicks 2019

                      I use the maps. I do subscribe. I love this website

                      Fredford66


                      Running Musician

                         

                        Numbered 1-4, this seems like a list in increasing order of potential disruption, and potential cost/revenue impact. I assume you pay per map view? Any way to phase in these options (in this order), to see what the effect is?

                         

                        #1 as stated by others seems like a no-brainer.

                         

                        #2-3, limiting or eliminating map views for non-subscribers may turn some people off, but they're not contributing anyway, so...? And already some people in this thread have said they don't care; someone who doesn't even subscribe may likely care even less. I do care; I have Strava as well, but this place is really where I live.

                         

                        #4 sounds like a lot of work, and I'd think any major code changes always have the chance of unforeseen consequences. Not sure what triggered all the chaos around New Year's, but I'm guessing that kind of thing could happen again if you messed around with things too much. (Full disclosure: I am not an IT guy. As if you couldn't tell.)

                         

                        I know you're not asking for more money, but I'd pay more, and I know others would as well.

                         

                        I'm late to the conversation, but agree with the above from Dave.  If OSM is a good option, use it.  I'm very grateful for this site and all you do, Eric, and raising the subscription rate would not chase me away.  Yes, I have other map options, but being able to see maps when I'm using the log is valuable to me.

                         

                        Thank you.

                        5k 24:03 (1/19); 5M 40:50 (11/19); 10k 52:27 (3/19); Half 1:56:33 (10/19)

                        Upcoming race(s): 5K Run for the Pizza, Westfield, NJ (7/20) ?
                        Biking Bad


                        finnegan begin again

                          I renewed. I realize you aren't getting much more than a cup of coffee from all this if you are lucky. I don't even care about the advertisements. I'd just like to see this place stick around to prod my fat ass off the couch.

                           

                          Thanks

                           

                          MTA:  I like the current mapping format with each workout. Maybe there are different or better ones? I'm too lazy to read through the thread. I'm a creature of (bad) habits. But, I yield to the economics of running a hobby site

                          "... the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value..."  Thomas Paine Dec 23, 1776 The Crisis 

                           

                          Adversity is the first path to truth. Lord Byron

                           

                          "No one plans to fail…..they fail to plan" Skinny Pete

                          GinnyinPA


                            I'm one that uses the mapping software a lot to figure out routes since I like to try new ones if I can. Yours is much better than Mapmyrun, IMO. That said, do what you need to do to keep the site alive.

                            Elizabeth78


                            Recovery Phenom

                              I've been a paying subscriber/donater for over 10 years and I had no idea that the "run spots" and "Measure Route" features existed. I use MapMyRun which is painfully frustrating. So, good to know.

                               

                              All that said, I definitely think these should be premium features for subscribers only. I admire that you are trying to keep this site free for everyone, but it seems like it's not feasible with the mapping options. I don't know enough about the other maps providers. If you can keep the experience better than MapMyRun, you win in my book!

                              26.2 x 26 (3:15:34 PR)

                              13.1 x 33 (1:30:58 PR)

                              Author of the book Boston Bound

                              Up Next: Boston Marathon 2021

                              Cyberic


                                Just another personal opinion. Although I now use the forums, and like them a lot, what got me in RA was the log reporting capabilities. And after some years, it is still what differentiates RA from the other logs. Here I can pull my weekly mileage of June 2015 in no time. Or my monthly mileage of the 6 months preceding a given marathon date.

                                 

                                Although the map feature is kind of a must in a running log, I agree, pretty much all the online running logs have it. I could use my Garmin log to view the map. But I can't use the Garmin log to pull info dating a couple of years. Not easily, at least.

                                 

                                Maybe you could give a full feature trial period of 1 to 3 months and then some of the features become deactivated if you don't subscribe. Especially with your low subscription cost. At that price, I don't see a problem with you requiring subscriptions.

                                Proud run commuter since 2017