In the past I have used an app called Maverick Pro to pre-cache Google terrain maps, for use offline in the mountains where there is no 3G service. In the good old days you could use Maverick Pro to display your own waypoints over the top of a pre-cached Google map. Without pre-caching you can see your waypoints but no map because there is no service in the mountains with which to download and refresh the map.
However, when I went to pre-cache the maps this weekend, Maverick Pro displayed a message saying that service had been "disabled" due to a "request" from Google. Other services like OSM and Bing continue to work but they don't have the quasi-topo maps that show contour lines and terrain features like the Google terrain layer does. Supposedly Google hasn't disabled its own pre-caching service. I therefore carefully followed the directions to pre-cache several Google maps tiles around my planned destination, knowing it wouldn't work when I got up to the mountains, and of course it didn't work.
Now I realize those are Google's maps and that they don't have to let anyone else use them. But was this really necessary? Google Maps is free. So it's not like Google is going to make any money by herding me away from Maverick Pro which, in stark contrast to Google Maps, actually works for the activities I choose to engage in. Google Maps is fine for the user who wants to navigate to the nearest big-city coffee shop to get a $6 latte with all the trimmings, or who is willing to drive 300 miles out of his or her way just to stay on the interstate out of fear that they will get into a reenactment of the movie Deliverance if they venture onto a two-lane highway. For users with more demanding applications in mind, there used to be apps like Maverick Pro and Oryx --until Google cut those apps off at the knees for no apparent reason.
Two years ago we all thought Google was a knight in shining armor, boldly defending an open environment that would rival Apple's closed ecosystem. Two years down the road and they are starting to look as mindlessly greedy as Apple, AT&T, and Verizon.