One major problem with using Someone Else’s Infrastructure is the inevitability of the Someone Else losing interest in the project while you’re still using it. This is a natural part of the progression of technology, of course — but it’s important to keep in mind.
For example, Google recently announced that they would no longer support their (pretty cool and reasonably lightweight by modern standards) My Tracks app. I’ve been using this for the past several years to track my walks around Philadelphia — mostly to and from work.
End-of-support announcements are nothing new, certainly — but this one had a more stark warning attached: Export your data before May, or you will lose it.
I understand Google no longer being able to justify maintaining a web service for the two or three of us codgers still using an app from way back in 2009 — but just a little foresight would have made it possible for My Tracks to keep right on working. All I really use it for is to get a position from the GPS module, timestamp it, and save it to a file.
The bottom line is, it doesn’t have to care about the Internet, or Google, at all, except maybe to display the moving map. And I don’t see Google dropping that functionality anytime soon. (Hopefully.)
Oh, well. Looks like it’s time to find another lightweight GPS app, write one, or maybe teach an Arduino about GPS logging. So long, My Tracks, and thanks for all the data. We hardly got to know you.