Ubuntu GNOME maintainer Jeremy Bicha informs the community today, July 14, 2016, about the fact that the popular GNOME Maps application from the GNOME Stack has recently lost its free map tile service, MapQuest, which disabled access to their feed.
Of course, this automatically translates to the fact that as of July 12, 2016, GNOME Maps is no longer a functional application, and it would appear that it might take weeks, or even months for the GNOME development team responsible for the maintenance of the app to find a new free service for displaying the maps.
As a consequence, the Ubuntu GNOME devs are currently discussing the possibility of dropping GNOME Maps from the default installation medium starting with the upcoming point release for the Xenial Xerus series, Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.1 LTS, which is expected to hit the streets on July 21, 2016.
“I spoke briefly with Tim Lunn (darkxst) and we’d like to remove gnome-maps from ubuntu-gnome-desktop’s recommends for xenial because we’d rather not ship Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.1 with an app that doesn’t work at all. We’ll need a fast-track SRU for this since there aren’t 7 days left before ISO testing next week,” said Jeremy Bicha in today’s announcement.
It is indeed a very unfortunate event, especially that GNOME Maps is a pretty popular maps applications these days, used by numerous of Linux users across multiple GNU/Linux operating systems. If the GNOME Maps maintainers don’t find an alternative soon, the app could be removed from other upcoming distros as well.