Do you remember the "more wood behind fewer arrows" policy that Larry Page announced in July 2011?
The idea was a "refocusing strategy" that would enable Google to concentrate on its core products.
One early casualty of to the drive to divest itself of unprofitable assets was the closure of Google Labs which came as a shock both inside and outside Google. The initial round of closures was followed up with repeated bouts of "spring cleaning" as Google contined to dump products and APIs that it no longer wanted, even though some of them were indeed wanted by users and developers.
The deprecation of the Google Maps API for Flash API was part of the September 2011 Fall Spring Clean and it was so uncontroversial, compared to throwing out the social search tool Aadrvark which happened at the same time, that it didn't even get a mention in our report of the continued mass clear-out.
Even back in 2011 closing down this particular API, which had been launched to provide ActionScript developers a way to integrate Google Maps into their applications, seemed entirely appropriate, especially as the rug was not being pulled out from under their feet as was the case for many other APIs.
Over the past 3 years we’ve added numerous additional features to v3, such as elevation, cycling and transit directions, symbols, and support for GeoJSON, making it our most powerful and well used Maps API ever.