* Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Writing and using plugins for Version 5 and above.
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AdrianBruce
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Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Dec 2019 12:29

I just went into map Life Facts (v4.6) for the first time for ages. It started with a fairly catastrophic error message:
1 Error Msg on entry to Map Life Facts.jpg
1 Error Msg on entry to Map Life Facts.jpg (74.97 KiB) Viewed 1107 times
The "map" hidden behind doesn't look at all well.
2 Result.jpg
2 Result.jpg (97.22 KiB) Viewed 1107 times
I'm trying to use Google Maps, not Leaflet, by the way. When I go to my Google Account and go via Payments / Payment Methods / Subscriptions & Services / Cancelled, it claims that I have cancelled the Google Cloud service.
3 Google Account - Payments - Pay methods - Subs & Services Cancelled.jpg
3 Google Account - Payments - Pay methods - Subs & Services Cancelled.jpg (60.56 KiB) Viewed 1107 times
Needless to say, I have not knowingly done any such thing. I can see no evidence of when this purported cancellation came in - zero bills for this month so far and the last couple before.

What I have done is rebuilt my machine but Set Preference Options / Location Plot Options of Map Life Facts shows a Google Maps API Key. I am also fairly certain that quite recently I went through a Google Security Review on my options - whether I cancelled it during that Review, I have absolutely no idea.

Any idea if the purported cancellation is the issue? And if so, what's the best way forward short of me dumping Google Maps API where it hurts? (I rather liked the Leaflet maps but I think I'd still need a Google Maps API for the Geocoding, wouldn't I?)

Grateful for any help....
Adrian

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tatewise
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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by tatewise » 08 Dec 2019 12:57

Adrian, when you rebuilt your machine did you restore this Project completely?
It seems that the Map Life Facts Plugin can find the ...fh_data\Plugin Data\Map Life Facts.loc file that holds all the geocoded location data, and should sit alongside the Map Life Facts.dat file that holds the preference settings including your Google API Key. BUT the contents of that file is faulty. An empty Map Life Facts.loc file would give exactly the error you posted.

BTW: The same goes for any other Plugins that you use.

Like you, I get monthly Google invoices for £0.00, but my account is currently OK.
Are you sure you are logged into the correct Google account (I have more than one).
Try visiting https://console.cloud.google.com/home/dashboard or https://console.cloud.google.com/apis/dashboard and see what it says there.

Yes, you need the Google account if you want to automatically geocode locations.
You don't need it if you can manage with the FH Map Window geocoder &/or manually plotting locations.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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AdrianBruce
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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Dec 2019 16:53

tatewise wrote:
08 Dec 2019 12:57
Adrian, when you rebuilt your machine did you restore this Project completely?
It seems that the Map Life Facts Plugin can find the ...fh_data\Plugin Data\Map Life Facts.loc file that holds all the geocoded location data, and should sit alongside the Map Life Facts.dat file that holds the preference settings including your Google API Key. BUT the contents of that file is faulty. An empty Map Life Facts.loc file would give exactly the error you posted.

BTW: The same goes for any other Plugins that you use.
...
And an empty Map Life Facts.loc file was exactly what it was. At which point, for curiosity, I compared it to the Map Life Facts.loc in Family Historian Sample Project.fh_data\Plugin Data, saw what was in there and thought - "Hang on - I don't do that - I have my "Database In" set to "Place Records" for this PlugIn". So, I renamed off Map Life Facts.loc in my "proper" project, launched it in FH, ran the plug-in - which started perfectly sensibly. Still doesn't load the Google Maps, but clearly that is another issue.

Tricky for me to guess, but I wonder if this is because the / my Family Historian Sample Project keeps its Map Life Facts Database in the PlugIn Data Folder but my Bruce project keeps its Map Life Facts Database in the Place Records? But not just that because I'm sure the plugin functions normally with different modes in different projects... Surely... But yesterday I went into my Bruce project then, using GEDCOM File Tasks swapped to the Sample Project before using the Map Life Facts plugin. (Yeah, a bit of a mix). Quite what I ended up in before closing, I don't know but maybe the crossed modes led to the creation of the empty Map Life Facts.loc file????

That's just a vague hypothesis. I now want to check the dashboards for the other issue which seems to be just coincidence after all....
Adrian

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by tatewise » 08 Dec 2019 17:31

Yes, different Projects can choose different options for their Map Life Facts Database.
That choice (among others) is preserved in the Map Life Facts.dat file.
Since your Bruce project keeps its Database in the Place Records it is not obvious why Map Life Facts was looking at the Map Life Facts.loc file, unless something in the options got changed.
Anyway that mystery has been fixed and we may never discover how it arose.

The Google Account cancellation is a different mystery.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Dec 2019 17:55

Looking at both dashboards that you mention in your first response, Mike, both have this at the top....
4 Free trial over.jpg
4 Free trial over.jpg (7.19 KiB) Viewed 1041 times
My Free Trial is over... It seems from the KB articles that it's a 12 month free trial. And based on the number of times that I use the plugin, the free trial might have expired ages ago. So is this why my plugin doesn't work?

Either I didn't get any notification that my free trial was about to finish or I did and its significance went over my head - quite likely the latter, given that the whole thing seem so annoyingly counter-productive. "Your Free Trial is over ... Join the Free tier..." Yeah. The point of that would be?

There is a "Sign Up Now" button to the right of that message - so do you have any advice about what to expect? Do I just press the button? Do I get a new API key to worry about do you know?

Thanks
Adrian

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by tatewise » 08 Dec 2019 19:14

I am somewhat mystified.
Yes, there is (or was) a 12-months free trial, but was replaced by the Always Free Tier that introduced the Google API Key.
That requires a Billing Account linked to a Credit Card and produces monthly Google £0.00 invoices.
You have the API Key and got the monthly invoices, so don't understand why it is talking about the free trial.

I signed up in May 2018 and still have an active account.

Presumably you went through the Knowledge Base > Map Life Facts ~ Google Maps Geocoder > Manage API Key process some time ago and enabled a billing account with your credit/debit card.

Since your symptoms have not been experienced by me, and nobody else has reported them, then you are a pathfinder.
Review the steps in that Manage API Key advice, and then try the Sign Up Now button and see where it leads.
It should involve dialogues similar to Manage API Key screenshots for the Google Cloud Platform.
Sorry I can't be more specific.

Are you sure you have used the same Google Account all along?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Dec 2019 20:50

Oh. Curiously easy - so far as I remember (because the shock of how easy it was might have driven a step from my mind), I pressed the "Sign Up Now" button at the right of the screen (see image) and it signed me up. I spent way longer trying to read the help files to see if I'd have to recreate an API key etc. - and I didn't. I'm back using the same 2 APIs (at least, I hope they're the same - Maps Javascript API and Geocoding API) and the same API Key.
10.jpg
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According to the Cloud Platform console / Credentials, my API Key was created 27 Sept 2018 - you're supposed to get 30d grace, if I understood it correctly, before you lose any resources created during your free trial but it looks like API keys aren't lost.

And yes, Geocoding is now back in business through the plug-in.

Thanks for your help Mike - it'll be interesting to see if anyone else gets cancelled because they went into the 12m Free Trial first.
Adrian

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by tatewise » 09 Dec 2019 21:38

Yes, that all looks good.
To check your billing account please visit https://console.cloud.google.com/billing/
Click My Billing Account at the bottom next to your Billing account ID
In the subsequent Overview click the PAYMENT OVERVIEW tab and check your linked credit card is correct.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Dec 2019 23:16

Yep, that's fine - thanks for the suggestion.
Adrian

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 10 Dec 2019 21:38

tatewise wrote:
08 Dec 2019 19:14
I am somewhat mystified.
Yes, there is (or was) a 12-months free trial, but was replaced by the Always Free Tier that introduced the Google API Key.
...
Just going back over the screen shots I took of Google's various "explanations", the way I'm reading them, the Free Tier starts with a 12 month "free" trial that gives you $300 credit (so ends when 12m is up or you've used the $300 credit, whichever comes first). Once the free trial ends, then you must upgrade to a paid account to continue using Google Cloud but if you keep within the usage limits defined for Always Free, then, as you say, the bill is zero.
11.jpg
11.jpg (87.32 KiB) Viewed 879 times

A later screen (probably not the next):
12.jpg
12.jpg (72.28 KiB) Viewed 879 times
So it seems like yes, "the Always Free Tier that introduced the Google API Key" did indeed replace the previous thing, but it still starts with a 12m "free" trial (actually it's not free - you just get $300 credit for free). (Subject to all sorts of conditions to ensure we can't just keep getting free trials!)

I think. Probably...
Adrian

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by tatewise » 10 Dec 2019 22:23

Thank you for those nuggets of information.
They vaguely ring a bell, but the journey started so long ago that I'd forgotten the details.
I think the idea was to sign up with a credit card backed account so that the Always Free phase would start automatically.
Otherwise users have to remember 12 months down the road to sign up to a paid billing account.
It seems that the automatic switch to the Always Free phase sometimes does not happen and the account gets cancelled despite it being a paid billing account with a credit card. Mysterious.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 10 Dec 2019 22:39

Your idea of an automatic switch would make considerably more sense! At the very least there should have been a warning...
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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by tatewise » 10 Dec 2019 22:46

As far as I can recall, in my case the switch was automatic and silent many months ago.
Nobody else has suggested anything different until you reported your cancellation issue, which I assume is abnormal.

Has anyone else following this thread have anything to add?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by BillH » 11 Dec 2019 01:09

Don't really have anything to add, but I signed up when you first converted the plug in to use the API Key and it still works for me and I haven't been canceled.

Bill

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Re: Map Life Facts apparently cancelled

Post by AdrianBruce » 11 Dec 2019 21:33

Thanks Bill - at least I am assured that there's some more people out there using the plug-in! Which I was fairly certain there was but....

Who knows, maybe I unwittingly excluded some option somewhere, or failed to understand the significance of a mail from Google - probably because I thought that I didn't have to do anything!
Adrian

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