It is with great sadness that I have to announce that I will be closing down the MapMe.At website in its entirety. From Friday 9th October 2020 you will no longer be able to access the site.
Why am I doing this now? The site has been creaky and old for many years now but I’ve left it running because I find it useful for myself. I even went to the effort of upgrading various parts of the software a year ago, but I stalled when it came to testing everything still worked and I never got around to releasing that.
A week ago I had a look to see if anyone is actually still using the site. As it turns out only a tiny number of people have actually logged locations for the entirety of this year. Even for my own purposes the only times I log locations directly with MapMe.At is when I’m at home, for everything else I use Swarm from Foursquare.
I truly feel sad doing this. I decided to take some screenshots of notable periods from the past 13 years that the site has been operating. Looking around the times that my two children were born, seeing the trace as I took my heavily pregnant wife to the hospital along the route with many, many speed bumps. Seeing what I posted to social media around those times, or just the normal life I was living before my son arrived, surprisingly, on his due date.
Personally I have a lot of memories tied in to the site and you may too, but unfortunately it is built on some really old technology and it really is time to turn it off.
Accessing your data
What does this mean for you? As mentioned above you will not be able to access the site from Friday the 9th October 2020. If you would like to take any screenshots of maps please do it before then. On request I will make available a dump of all of the locations that you have stored on MapMe.At. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request this. To protect your data I will require that you respond to an email on the address that is registered with the site. If you need to change this email address you have 7 days to log in and do this! I will respond to emails on that address for 3 months after which I can no longer promise to help recover your data.
“How do I track my location now?”
For tracking check-ins your best bet really is just to go with Swarm. For tracking exercise activities then Strava and Runkeeper would be some of the obvious solutions. Really it does seem that you need to be tracking for a purpose and use an app related to that purpose. I know that the few users that continue to actively use MapMe.At are using it to track the travels of their yachts. For these people I’m not entirely sure what their best option would be but a good option appears to be the Adafruit IO APIs. I had hoped to write a blog post explaining how to do this, and may yet get around to it in the next few days.
If you have any other suggestions then let me know on Twitter and I’ll share them for everyone else to see.
“What about my WhereDial?”
Well the WhereDial was a fun project! It was a really interesting experience to design and sell my own hardware. It was even featured in this fantastic book - Designing the Internet of Things (which was written by some good friends of mine!)
Unfortunately taking MapMe.At offline does mean that these devices will no longer work. As far as I know the only devices that have been activated recently are the ones in my house and in my Dad’s house. I really would like to have an option to keep them running, but MapMe.At isn’t it, and until I get time to think of something then unfortunately these will have to remain offline.
The WhereDial was designed as Open Source hardware so if someone has one and wants to get it working again they can find the WhereDial Arduino code on GitHub.
Thank you to the people who have supported me, who have given feedback, or have simply enjoyed using MapMe.At. I’m sorry that I can’t keep it going but I hope you enjoyed using it over the years!
- MapMe.At Founder - John McKerrell