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Google Maps API Update

Aug 09, 2018

There’s been a big change with Google Maps, is your website affected?

Google Maps have been a constant presence in all types of websites since the Google maps API was made available in 2005. The API allowed developers to utilise the powerful Google Maps platform to customise live maps to use on their websites. Custom colours, markers, zooms etc. are a popular feature of website maps. However, that has now all changed.

The access model and costs for Google Maps Platform APIs have recently been updated by Google. The API users may now have to pay for using the maps service and all API users are required to register credit/debit card details against the Google Maps API account.

You now need to register a credit card to use the Google Maps API

In the past Google provided 25,000 free API requests per day, which was more than enough for most websites. Google has now dramatically reduced the volume of free requests down from 25,000 requests per day to 28,000 per month! That is a massive drop of around 2500% of free requests per month. Once the 28,000 request limit is reached within a month the registered card will be charged at $7 (roughly £5.40) per additional 1000 requests. The 28,000 free requests are applied in the form of a free $200 per month account credit.

Free API requests cut from 25,000 per day to 28,000 per month!

For many developers and website owners, the requirement to register a payment card is worrying. The card will be charged if the number of requests exceed the free $200 worth or 28,000 API requests. Google does allow the account holder to set an upper daily threshold or limit on the volume of API requests, so any charges are avoidable. This however means that when the upper limit is reached, your users will not see a map but a blank element or placeholder from Google.

The majority of websites and apps will fall well below the $200 a month/28,000 free usage limit but the requirement to supply a credit or debit card could leave website owners feeling apprehensive. The change looks likely to make web developers use free alternatives, such as Open Street Map, to avoid any map related charges.

Need Google Maps API help or advice?

If you have a map feature on your website that utilises the Google Maps API and you are unsure how this will affect you, please contact Maxweb on 0151 652 4777 or use our contact form.