Friday, June 22, 2012

Lower pricing and simplified limits with the Google Maps API

Since launching the Google Maps API seven years ago, we’ve been awed by the many ways developers have used the service to build great mapping apps. As you may know, last year we introduced limits on the number of free maps that developers could show daily through the Google Maps API. Since then, we’ve been listening carefully to feedback, and today we’re happy to announce that we’re lowering API usage fees and simplifying limits for both Styled and regular maps. Here are the details:
  • Changes to pricing. While the Maps API remains free for the vast majority of sites, some developers were worried about the potential costs. In response, we have lowered the online price from US $4 per 1,000 map loads to 50¢ per 1,000 map loads.

  • Simplified limits. We’re eliminating the previous distinction between Styled Maps and regular unstyled maps. The same usage limits and pricing now apply to applications using Styled Maps and the default Google Maps style.

We’re beginning to monitor Maps API usage starting today, and, based on current usage, fees will only apply to the top 0.35% of sites regularly exceeding the published limits of 25,000 map loads every day for 90 consecutive days. We aren’t automating the application of these limits, so if your site consistently uses more than the free maps allowance we’ll contact you to discuss your options. Please rest assured that your map will not stop working due to a sudden surge in popularity.

Based on questions we’ve heard during regular conversations with developers, we’d also like to remind you of the following facts.
  • To monitor whether your site might be affected by the Maps API usage limits, use a Google APIs Console key with your applications. Daily usage reports will then be generated in the console.

  • If you are a high-trafficked site, please consider Google Maps API for Business, our enterprise offering with technical support, a service level agreement, and additional benefits.

  • Non-profit organisations aren’t affected by the Maps API usage limits and can also apply for a free Maps API for Business license through the Google Earth Outreach grants program.

  • You can generate revenue from your Maps API application using AdSense for Maps, which enables you to display relevant ads on or alongside your map.

We hope the changes we’re announcing today will help you continue to deliver the most innovative maps experience to your users. If you have any questions or concerns please post to the Google Maps API forums or contact the Google Maps API for Business Sales team using this form. We look forward to helping you build great Maps applications for many years to come.