smartCARS Crashing/Map Issue

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As some of you are aware, there have been some intermittent issues with smartCARS recently (namely interface lagging or crashing). This was due to to a recent change in our infrastructure. We'd like to explain the full situation behind this.

For the last several years, we've used the Google Maps JavaScript API for the smartCARS map. The cost had been very reasonable (free, or very close). At some point in the last few months, Google changed their pricing model and increased it significantly (to a point we no longer felt was reasonable). We felt we could find a better solution, as there are several options on the market. With that in mind, we began implementing another solution.

After experimenting with a few different technologies, we found one we liked and implemented all of the features the map previously had. We then rolled it out to smartCARS and began testing/reviewing it. It then became apparent that the browser that loads the map in smartCARS (the embedded C# WebBrowser control), is not reacting well to the new map system. It was causing interface lagging and for some users, intermittent crashing. We tested a solution over the weekend but it didn't resolve the issue. To avoid further interrupting service for our users, we have temporarily moved the smartCARS map to a web-accessible URL and out of the client directly. We will continue working to restore the full map functionality and we apologize for the inconvenience.

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