|Google Maps API Changes Billing Rules|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Monday, 16 July 2018|
Google has changed the pricing and access model for its Google Maps Platform APIs. From July 16, users will have to pay more for map accesses, and all projects will have to have an official API key linked to a credit card.
The change follows an earlier move by Google to limit the number of free requests per day. Now Google has reduced the number of free requests that can be made from 25,000 map displays per day to 28,000 map displays per month. Once those limits are reached, the amount charged per view has also been increased.
Until now, if your app exceeded the 25,000 views per day, you were charged at $0.50 USD per 1,000 additional requests, up to 100,000 per 24 hours. The new system charges $7.00 USD per 1,000 additional requests. There is a $200 per month credit that will be applied to monthly usage of the Maps, Routes and other Places products, hence the 28,000 free views per month.
For many developers, the scary part will be the credit card element. The card will be charged if users exceed the number of free API requests. You can avoid getting an unexpected massive charge by setting a daily limit on the number of requests per day that your app will accept, but that means that when the limit is reached, your users will see a blank rather than a map.
Of course, many apps will fall well short of the $200 a month/28,000 free views limit, but the need to supply a credit card just in case is still unsettling. The change seems likely to make developers creating apps where they want a map, but don't want to fall foul of large charges, to look at the alternatives on offer, such as OpenStreetMap. There's a list of possible alternatives put together by the OpenGeo Foundation.
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