I started making maps is 2008. I was living in Costa Rica with some extra time on my hands and navigating around was difficult. I shared these maps on my personal website and more and more people started using them. Then I started making maps for other countries - other places I had lived or visited, and maps that users requested. At the time, there were very few people making maps so the work I did had a pretty big impact.
Fast forward to 2021, there are still lots of people using my maps but there now a lot of other maps available. A couple of years ago, I removed the ads from this site and added donations as a way to try to fund OpenMapChest to a level that would allow me to dedicate work time to this project. I appreciate all of the donations and kind messages from people, but when I consider the hosting and hardware costs, the donations just don't generate enough to keep OpenMapChest going as a work project. My life is different in 2021 than it was in 2008 and, unfortunately, due to the corona virus lockdowns, school cancellations and other hardships, my time is much more limited.
This has been a super fun project and journey. Everything besides the application I use to build the maps is my creation; from logo to web site development and scripts to build the maps. I'm pretty proud of this project which is why it's very hard for me to take this step. But in the end, my responses to users and required map fixes just keep taking longer and longer. And when I have to choose between working on OpenMapChest in my free time or spending time with my 3 year old son, the answer is very clear.
I will keep OpenMapChest running in its full form for a year with regular map updates, responding to users, etc. In this way, I'm honouring the year of extra features that were offered to people who donated.
Thank you so much for using my maps. Thank you for the donations and the kind messages. I have lots of stickers, and if you want some - either make a donation and request stickers, or send me an email with your address.
Thank you once again for all of your support!
January 5, 2021