Sunsetting Cartographica

After 18 years of working on Cartographica and CartoMobile, it's time for a change at ClueTrust.

Today I'm announcing that I will be sunsetting Cartographica this year, with end of sales being July 31, 2023, and end of support being December 31, 2023. At the end of July, it will no longer be possible to purchase Cartographica support or new products. Any existing customers will be able to continue to use the software based on their existing license.

A bit of background

Cartographica has been alternatively an avocation or vocation for me since I started working on it in 2005. The first release was in 2009 and marked a dedicated period of development, sales, and support for Cartographica by me and at varying times 3 other people. Over the years, the financial investment (much less the time) has not paid off, despite the rather high price. Some of this was due to the advent of online mapping tools and platforms that came at just the wrong time for Cartographica. Some likely was also due to missteps in determining the right features, the correct business model (subscription vs paid-up-front) or bad timing on my part.

Recent years have shown a steady decline in users (and especially paying users) and the lack of enforcement of maintenance payments in the early years of Cartographica hampered new development though limited revenue. Eventually, this is a classic chicken-and-egg problem as new feature development to drive new customer adoption wasn't warranted by the existing revenue stream.

In the end, the simple answer to the question of why is because it just isn't sufficiently lucrative to keep pouring time into it after 18 years.

Perpetual license use

Perpetual license holders will continue to have the right to use versions of Cartographica that are under their most-current license.

Last Support Date Highest Version
After 2022-12-01 1.7
After 2021-07-01 1.6
Prior purchases 1.5

Subscription-only license

Once a subscription license expires, access to Cartographica will no longer be available. For users who have a desire for a perpetual license (without ongoing support after 12/31/23 and without online services after 12/31/23), a perpetual license may be available for a discounted price. Please contact Cartographica Support.


End of support will be December 31, 2023. At this time, no further updates of the software will be forthcoming and existing customers will not be entitled to:

  • Email or web-based support
  • Updates of any kind (although it's possible we may do a an update for 1.7 for compatibility only)
  • Use of online services from MapBox through the ClueTrust access (access will be available if the user has their own access codes)

Users with support that extends beyond 12/31/23 will be eligible for an automatic pro-rated refund. Those refunds will be pro-rated monthly based on the expiration date beyond 12/31/23: For example: If your support expires in January, 2023, you will be eligible for a 1/12 pro-rated refund based on the maintenance portion of your purchase. If you have purchased a perpetual-use license since January 1, 2023, the pro-rated refund will be based on the annual maintenance fee of $74.25 (or as appropriate for your license).


A few questions that I expect may be on people's minds:

Why now?

People will ask "why now?" because I've continued to work on this for so long. The answer is that it's time for me to move on. Despite spending a significant amount of time revitalizing Cartographica's innards over the years, there is no good argument for moving the codebase to a more modern one. This means that the skills I use to maintain Cartographica are at odds with the skills necessary to for modern iOS and macOS code. Time has come for me to concentrate on newer projects.

How long will Cartographica continue to work?

The good news is that I have been modernizing the code for some time. I pushed heavily into the Apple Silicon world with the 1.6 release last year and the upcoming 1.7 release, while continuing to support the Intel processors fully.

Further, as a long-time Mac developer, I know the value of coding to Apple's standards in terms of software longevity. There are people still using version 1.4.x of Cartographica on macOS 10.15 and below (1.4 was for macOS 10.7.5+), and version 1.5.x with up to macOS 13 (1.5 was for macOS 10.13+).

Although I won't guarantee that Cartographica will work with any version of macOS after the end-of-support date, I will say that I'm already running tests on Cartographica with the upcoming macOS 14 and the results are unchanged from current macOS releases.

If, at some point in the future, Cartographica ceases to function due to an operating system update, I would recommend using virtualization technologies to enable use of the older operating system and run Cartographica in that. With that said, I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

What about geocoding and live maps?

Live maps and geocoding support will no longer be available through ClueTrust after the end-of-support date. However, since the original Bing support days, there has been support for putting in API keys that are owned by the user to access service through Bing, and there is a similar facility for MapBox. If you depend on these features, you can work directly with MapBox (or Microsoft) for access to those services. Once you have an API key, you can go to Cartographica Preferences and put the key into the Bing or MapBox fields.


For purchasers of the Cartographica perpetual licenses, the value of Cartographica will continue to be the right to use the version you have licensed, and as such, your license key will continue to provide access to the software, so there will be no wholesale refunds of the purchase price.

If, however, you have support available, either through a maintenance plan with an expiration date after 12/31/23 or included as part of your Cartographica purchase, you can expect to see a pro-rated refund generated by the end of July for the amount of unused support after 12/31/23.

If you have a subscription with an expiration date after 12/31/23, an optional pro-rated refund available for the portion of that subscription that runs after the end of the year. If you choose to take the pro-rated refund, the software will cease to function after the end-of-support period. If you choose not to request the pro-rated refund, your existing key will continue to be valid until the expiration date, but there will be no guarantee of function or suitability after that date.

What will happen when the servers shut down?

I have no immediate plans to take the site or the site offline. Each of these will continue to operate for some period of time.

Your activated license key will continue to provide the ability to use the software for as long as the software functions, even if we take all of our servers offline.

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