When Google Maps Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B301


Make your life sweeter by replacing Google Maps with open-source alternatives.


Google Maps has long been the choice for embedding maps on your website, or building map mashups. But GM is a closed, proprietary solution and Google’s recent announcement that they will start┬ácharging for maps (or including ads on maps) has people looking at other options. As an added bonus, many of the alternative solutions are not only opens source, but they have significant advantages over Google Maps.

If you are a website owner with an embedded simple map, this talk will show you how you can dump Google Maps and switch over to other solutions in minutes. If you are a web designer, you’ll see how you can customize maps so they will look the way you want them to look, not the way Google wants them to look. If you are a programmer building map-based webapps, you’ll see how open source mapping APIs like Leaflet make it faster and easier to build map mashups and have them work the way you want. And if you just like cool maps, you’ll see some new things that are possible with the next generation of map apps using HTML5 and CSS3.

Speaking experience

I've given hundreds of talks at conferences (see bio).

I'm planning on giving related talks to this one at other conferences.


  • Wmape1

    Wm Leler

    Flightstats, Inc.


    Wm Leler is a principal engineer at Flightstats, where he draws lots of airplanes, airports, weather, and other things on maps, and a Fellow at the Banff Centre for the Arts, where he has worked with some amazing artists on web-based, virtual reality, and location-based mobile projects. He has given papers, invited talks, and courses at conferences around the world, including SIGGRAPH, JavaOne, Eurographics, and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He has also founded several innovative and award-winning web companies and published two successful computer books. His love of maps is based on his passion for travel. Wm has an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and a PhD in computer science. He has been creating open source software since before it was called open source.