Announcement regarding REC web applications that utilize maps

For many years, REC was using Google Maps as our default mapping on our various free services, most notibly and its predecessor sites.  When Google Maps started to charge for their maps over a specific allowance, we discontinued the use of those maps in favor of maps available through the Open Layers environment.  This included mapping products from Open Street Map (OSM), Stamen and the US Geological Survey (USGS).  For FCCdata, we have also provided a "bring your own API key" option for Google Maps where someone can enter a Google Maps API key that they obtained and the browser would use that instead of the Open Layers maps.

One of our Open Layers providers, Stamen has announced that they will start charging for mapping products over a specific usage level.  Based on the amount of map usage that sites like FCCdata consumes every month from user inquiries, we will not be able to provide those maps while maintaining a free service.  While REC has recently rate limited access to certain FCC resources, we really do not want to rate limit the maps.  

FCCdata and some other REC sites utilize the Stamen map tiles as their default maps, while offering an option to switch to the OSM and USGS maps.  

In addition, we do not want to start charging for access to FCCdata in order to subsidize the use of the Stamen maps. 

As a result, REC will be doing IT projects on all of the sites in the REC Universe throughout the month of October to remove access to the Stamen maps and for FCCdata, we will make OSM the default mapping with the option to use USGS, which does include one tile set that supports satellite views.  We will also, over time, look for other free mapping tile services that may be available to increase the flexibility of the REC mapping. 

This change should not have a major impact on our map presentation since the OSM default map is comprarable to that of the default Stamen map that we currently use.  Unlike the USGS mapping, the OSM maps do provide worldwide coverage, therefore our ability to map non-US facilities will not be majorly impacted as we will have a replacement product. 

The "bring your own key" option for Google Maps is still available on FCCdata for desktop.  Simply click on the Google API link on the upper left of the page and enter your API key there.  It will be retained in your browser for 365 days or when you delete the FCCdata cookies, whichever happens first.  

Thank you for using our free REC broadcast data services.