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.
This recent API change hurts. But click through for the tutorial, which doesn’t hurt.