Google announces significant changes to its Google Maps API
In May 2018, Google announced significant changes to its Google Maps API pricing and platform. These changes were designed to aid those looking to include customised routes, maps and places within their website.
However, understandably, many businesses are a little confused by the announcement. So, what do these changes mean? Below you’ll discover everything you need to know about the new platform and its pricing structure.
Pay-as-you-go single plan option
As of June 11th, 2018, the Google Maps API switched to a new pay-as-you-go model. You will need to register a credit card for every API key you use, and initially, you’ll receive $200 worth of free usage each month – Google converts from GBP to USD in the UK. However, after you’ve used up this $200, you’ll then be charged for each call you make.
This is a little worrying for large-scale businesses who use Google Maps API on a frequent basis. Transport businesses, which offer users the ability to plan their routes online, will particularly struggle with the pay-as-you-go model. However, the search giant has included special pricing for its enterprise customers in order to soften the blow.
What will $200 get you?
The free $200 worth of usage each month equates to around:
Of course, this will differ depending upon usage, but it is a fair amount for smaller to medium-sized businesses. Google has justified the changes as being a more flexible, no-commitment pricing structure. It’s also important to note that mobile Maps can be used absolutely free, and all customers will receive free support from the search giant.
What do you need to do to meet the new requirements?
In order to continue using the Google Maps API, all users now need an actual account, along with registered billing details. If you fail to add an API key, a watermarked map or error will be presented. This could prove to be extremely frustrating to those who have been using Google’s free Maps feature as they will all need to be updated to use API keys.
The good news is that help is available! When you choose CMS Live to host your website, we take care of the implementations for you. Your maps will be automatically reconfigured and then set up to use Google Maps API. This significantly reduces the amount of effort you need to put into meeting these new requirements.
Of course, you’re also going to need a reliable hosting service if you provide real-time route planning. We offer a 24/7 hosting monitoring service for total reassurance. We receive notifications of any issues within 5 minutes, ensuring we can alert you and make any necessary changes quickly, greatly reducing the amount of downtime experienced.
Although these changes to Google Maps API pricing are worrying for a lot of businesses, it’s not all bad news. The hardest part is ensuring your maps are reconfigured. In the long term, it’s thought that this new structure will actually prove to be easier for developers to work with.
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