Interesting post by Pete Warden. I’ve never thought about it this way, but he is right: Using Google’s geo APIs, including uses that are not permitted by their terms, stops us from building free (and more importantly: open) alternatives. In my opinion, we already have one very good alternative to the Google Maps API, namely Leaflet. Now we just have to come up with equally easy to use and well document APIs for geocoding and the like. Most of the data required to run such services is already out there for free, so this shouldn’t be too hard.