There's good news and bad news at Butterflies and Moths of North America this summer. The good news is that we are getting lots of traffic to the site, and many users are submitting and reviewing sightings. Hooray!
The bad news? We can't use Google's mapping service for free anymore. The site utilizes Google's mapping services quite heavily, both for displaying maps and also for geocoding the locations of submitted sightings. Google used to be freely available, then it switched to a paid service with a small free tier, and now the free tier is simply too small for this project. Unfortunately, with the heavy site usage, use of Google is now expensive. The estimated costs for the month of June were nearly $500, just for the Google mapping services that we use.
This new fee from Google doesn't include any other costs of running the project: hosting, development, security updates, user management, etc. We have very limited funding from advertising, which already did not cover all the associated costs of the project. So, now we are looking at a larger gap between funding and costs.
Update (July 2): We were able to restore service so users can seamlessly submit sightings.
How to help? If you would like to help us defray costs, please consider making a financial contribution via our PayPal link: https://www.paypal.me/BAMONA. Or contact us to request the snail mail address where you can send a check.