+Randy - It's hard to say what method Google Maps uses in determining what image is most indicative of terrain features:
- is it the most recent aerial photograph (to depict the most up-to-date features), or is it based on the time of year ( to avoid showing a featureless snowy landscape)?
As for the idea of using vector graphic maps of holes instead of Google Maps (like Golflogix):
- I'd think this would be quite an endeavor to do this conversion for 40,000 courses;
- some users may prefer the Google Maps view over vector graphics;
- say that GolfPad only uses a vector graphic for courses that don't have good Google Maps pics; it would still be expensive for them to get them from another third party (in which case, they could just use the actual image); I believe that other golf apps such as A####s base their course maps off of Google - the reason I have this hunch is that if GolfPad doesn't have the course mapped due to poor satellite imagery, that other app doesn't seem to have it either (at least that's the correlation I've noticed with my buddy's app in my location).
OK - since we probably can't get better views from Google Maps, what about converting the maps to the 3D type maps that are used on the Golf Logix app (http://www.golflogix.com/) or the BirdieApps golf gps (https://golfgpsapp.com/)? These two companies offer them for free, and I know that the creators of Golf Pad are much better and smarter than these others, so could we get maps like this with our paid subscription?
From what little I know/remember about GMaps licensing, it's based on map loads. Google is not going to want you to cache their maps; that breaks their revenue model.
Well, yes, the key word there is Google maps allows it on its maps. For apps and business that use it or advertise on it, it generates revenues in a couple different licensing streams ( I think that GolfPad would use the white label licensing but maybe I'm wrong). Otherwise, if apps or businesses could store them, no one would advertise on them, or they wouldn't be aware of their usage for generating revenues, etc.
I'm no expert, but I don't think apps like GolfPad that ride on Google Maps have much choice. You get the same map when called up by any app or by using Google maps itself.
That's what I was kind of figuring about the maps not being updated too often. I was just thinking if the gurus at Golf Pad could look through the archives of Google maps and find good views of the courses (if there are any) instead of just going with the most recent, we might be able to get better views of the courses.
Thanks for the response!!
Unfortunately, the app is reliant on Google maps, and therefore, map updates are dependent on Google's update frequency, which in some cases, can't be often enough. It seems like they go through a 3 or 4 year term, and then are updated. GolfPad, or any other app, can do little about this. I don't know if GolfPad canvasses Google for updates near courses at 'better' times of the year.
I've got a similar course I'd like to play. It's not even listed because the satellite imagery is in the dead of winter (snow cover). So you can't even 'scout' it yourself and submit it to GolfPad as a new course. It's away from major centers too, so it may be awhile before it's a listed course.
Another course I like to play has 6 holes of when it was under construction, but you can still make out enough features that it is a listed course, though it looks horrible, just like the course you've mentioned. C'est la vie.