Web developers combining their creations with Google maps aren't a very happy lot any more.
This was once an adoring throng of Web hobbyists and professionals, happy that Google had released a set of instructions (known as an application program interface) so they could add a Google map to their own Web-based concoction.
Google 'mash-ups" have since popped up all over. Many started out as whimsical, but now developers want to make a commercial venture out of them. For that, they need more help from Google.
But when serious developers turned to the mother ship for a hand, they get no extra help. In fact, you can't even pay Google for a little tech support to get through a rough development patch. That might be fine for hobbyists, but some mashers require a lot more resources from Google to make a commercial go of it.
Never fear, says Placebase, a 5-year-old company. On Monday, April 3, it'll formally introduce PushPin, which has built a mirror image of Google's maps, and supposedly supplies Google mashers with a lot more help than Google's ever doled out.
PushPin starts at $1,600 a month. A company representative said there's already established a healthy list of customers.
PushPin is, loosely-defined, a version of the same application program interface (API) that Google made public months ago to start the maps mashup madness.
But there are major differences between the two sets of developer tools. For one, PushPin serves as the basis for a much more complex mish-mash. Also, PushPin doesn't cap the number of times an application can tap Google for a map. Google has a daily limit. Under Google's terms, mashups must also contain the Google logo, while PushPin's has no such requirement.
And, perhaps even more eye opening to Google, PushPin creations can be advertising free, meaning Google isn't earning any revenues.
It's a safe bet to say Google won't be happy about this. It could very well be they even have something like this in the works and got scooped.