As you may have heard, we’ve partnered with Stadia Maps to create updated and modernized versions of our venerable basemap styles on Stadia’s infrastructure. You can read more about the announcement here and learn about some of the amazing features in the new maps in our recent blog post “Here Comes the Future of Stamen Maps”. We’re confident that these improved maps on Stadia’s servers will provide a much better and more stable experience for everyone who has loved Stamen’s maps over the years.
Now that we have the new service up and running, including lots of detailed tutorials to help you migrate to the new way of doing things, it’s time to start the process of turning off the old servers which have outlived their usefulness.
What this means is that anyone who hasn’t updated their websites to point to Stadia’s new tile endpoints will start seeing broken tiles.
We are going to roll this out gradually, replacing a few of the tiles with a message reminding site administrators that they need to update their websites. These first “brownout” tiles will start showing up on October 2, 2023, and over the following weeks we will start adding more of these warning tiles until eventually on October 31, 2023, the original tile URLs will stop working.
These map tiles will look something like this:
We know that our map tiles are an essential part of many webpages around the world, especially many long-running websites that have been providing essential web services for over a decade. We recognize that it’s a big deal to ask people to update their website code, and it’s not something we take lightly. But we believe that this change is necessary for the future sustainability of these web maps, and not migrating to new infrastructure isn’t a viable option. If we did nothing, these maps were going to break sooner or later.
We are also aware that it’s not easy to track down the owners of many of these older websites that use our maps. For a lot of people, seeing these initial brownout tiles will be the first they’re hearing about the need to migrate. This is where we are asking for your help: anytime you see our maps out in the wild on your favorite websites, we’d appreciate it if you could help us contact the site administrator and let them know that this change is coming.
If you see the attribution string on the bottom of the map and it doesn’t mention Stadia Maps, this most likely means that the website administrator needs to update their maps. But if it already references Stadia, then they should be good to go!
We also know that many people use our maps by way of other popular open source software libraries that have our maps included in them. We’ve already reached out to the maintainers of most of these libraries, such as Leafet, OpenLayers, ggmap for R, and, of course, OpenWhateverMap. So if you use one of these other toolkits, you might need to update what version you are using.
We’re committed to making this change as easy as possible, so please reach out to us if you have any questions!