Google Ending Support for Google Maps Flash API Sept. 2

The planned demise of the Google Maps API for Flash has been a three-year process to allow developers to replace it with JavaScript Maps API v3.

Google Maps Flash API

The long-awaited end of the Google Maps Flash API will arrive on Sept. 2, and Google is again reminding Web developers that they'd better get their transitions finished to the JavaScript Maps API v3 that will replace it.

The plan to replace the original Google Maps Flash API was hatched in September 2011 when Google announced that it would move its support to the JavaScript Maps v3 API as part of a periodic "Spring Cleaning" purge of products conducted by Google, according to a previous eWEEK report.

The transition is about to be completed, wrote Mano Marks of the Google developer relations team, in an Aug. 12 post on the Google Geo Developers Blog. "On September 2nd of this year the three year deprecation period for the Google Maps API for Flash will come to a close and the API will be turned off on that date," he wrote. "We encourage developers of existing applications to migrate to JavaScript Maps API v3 as soon as possible."

The original Google Maps API for Flash was launched in May 2008 as a way for ActionScript developers to integrate Google Maps into their applications at the time, according to Google. By 2011, though, the use of the Maps API for Flash consisted of only a small percentage of overall Maps API traffic, which led Google to eventually drop its use, according to a previous Google blog post. At the same time, the performance and consistency of browser JavaScript implementations continued to improve, making it a suitable successor to the original Flash API, the company stated. With that 2011 decision, the scheduled demise of Flash API support was a done deal, which leads to this week's reminder post.

"Over the past 3 years, we've added numerous additional features to [JavaScript Maps API] v3, such as elevation, cycling and transit directions, symbols, and support for GeoJSON, making it our most powerful and well used Maps API ever," wrote Marks. "Developers looking to migrate to the JavaScript Maps API v3 can find answers to any questions they have on StackOverflow. Our support page has the right StackOverflow tags to peruse."

Google is always working on APIs for its products.

In June, Google launched a new version of its Content API for Shopping for Google AdWords marketers and announced plans to phase out support for two older Google Maps JavaScript API libraries. The new version of the Shopping for Google AdWords API gave marketers more insights into their data quality and new options to keep their data fresh, according to an eWEEK report. Meanwhile, the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 Panoramio Library and Weather Library were scheduled for demise as of June 4, 2015.

Also in June, Google unveiled its latest Google Maps Android API v2, with new Street View imagery capabilities and more controls for developers as they use the API for indoor maps. Both features were added to the Google Play Services 4.4 release in May, but are now part of the latest Google Maps Android API.

In February, the Google Maps Android API Utility Library received a host of updates, including two key data visualization features—marker clustering and heat maps—that are aimed at improving the tools developers have when they are building apps for Google Maps on Android.