Y’all it may have taken me a little time, but I did listen. Thank you for your emails. Because of you, I have now updated my ggmap tutorial to address the Google Static Map API service issues!
Tutorial Link: https://www.littlemissdata.com/blog/maps
For those of you who have been following along with issue #51 in the ggmap repo, you’ll notice that there have been a number of changes in the Google Maps Static API service. Unfortunately these have caused some breakage in previous ggmap functionality.
If you used this package prior to July 2018, you may were likely able to do so without signing up for the Google Static Map API service yourself. As indicated on the the ggmap github repo - “Google has recently changed its API requirements, and ggmap users are now required to provide an API key and enable billing. The billing enablement especially is a bit of a downer, but you can use the free tier without incurring charges. Also, the service being exposed through an easy to use r package that extends ggplot2 is pretty great so I’ll allow it.
Due to this, ggmap itself is outdated on CRAN; the package owners hope to have the new version up on CRAN soon. In the meantime, I have updated this tutorial to include the full end to end steps. Additional details are discussed in the github repo issue #51. Big thank you to the amazing David Kahle who has been incredibly responsive in trying to support the user base during this time of change. Also, I found Ryan Fullers summary of issues particularly useful when working through the changes I needed to make.