Google maps makes huge changes to the platform
Steel Studios | Google maps changes to the platform

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The Google Maps service has been going for more than 13 years and is now branded as the Google Maps platform - with keyless access no longer supported. Maps is something that is widely used across numerous websites and this change is set to make issues for people. Most of time you log onto a website and see the About Us page, with a map showing where that certain place is. If customers are unable to find this it might possibly turn them away or at least they aren't being informed as they should. Make sure you read through this blog so you can avoid seeing your Maps integrations disappear from your website.

The key points for those using the service need to be aware is that pricing and the API key structure has now changed. Previously, 18 individual APIs were offered. These are now consolidated into 3 segments - Places, Routes and Maps. 

In terms of pricing Google has made the decision to merge their Standard and Premium plans into a single, pay-as-you-go pricing plan. For websites where they are making loads of quantities of API calls, there will be a substantial bill. Below shows the pricing for Maps and Routes. To see pricing of Places click here.

What does this mean for everyone?

Basically if you've gone through this transition you will probably have noticed that you are no longer able to use the APIs in the first place unless you made a billing account. Even if you have a basic map embedded onto your contact page you now under the Google Maps Platform service have to enter your bank details. Like previously mentioned keyless access will no longer be supported. So all projects will need a valid API key. Any keyless calls to the Maps JavaScript API or Street API will return to a low quality resolution images with a watermark.

Costing 

Previously above I mentioned the pricing for the three different sectors that come under the Google Maps Platform. Basically the first $200 of monthly usage will be free. So if you've got a single map on a small website, this maybe enough to cover you for the API calls required for your website. If you were to use Dynamic Maps though, that monthly usage will only cover up to 28,000 free page loads each month. No matter what you still have to enter your card details.

How does it work?

So lets say you have a website that deals with student accommodation. The website will more than likely feature multiple maps of the locations and also each maps has a street view image. This means Google will charge you for two API calls. So can begin to understand if you have a website that requires a lot of maps you are definitely going to get charged a lot.

Why have Google enforced this?

Ultimately Google have decided to monetize their Google Maps Platform in order to boost security and provide more advanced functionality. However, it seems like to business owners just another way to add some extra fees. Basically, if you're a business owner you didn't have any control over this happening and when the change was decided users must sign or that will have to stop using the service.

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11 February 2019 12:00 am