Google has announced that it is lowering its Maps API usage fees and simplifying limits for both styled and regular maps.
The new online pricing structure dropped from US$4 per 1000 map loads to 50 cents per 1000 map loads — quite a big difference. For reference, the Maps API itself remains free for the vast majority of sites.
To also simplify matters, the Mountain View, California-based corporation is consolidating its classifications for Maps. Google is eliminating the previous distinction between Styled Maps and regular unstyled maps. Thus, the same usage limits and rates will apply for apps using either Styled Maps or the default Google Maps style.
Thor Mitchell, a product manager for the Google Maps API team, explained on the Google Geo Developers blog that Google will start regularly monitoring Maps API usage immediately.
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 current usage rates, Google estimates that the new fees will only apply to the top 0.35 per cent of sites regularly exceeding the published limits of 25,000 map loads every day for 90 consecutive days.
For sites that are afraid they might go over the limit, it might also be time to consider the specific Google Maps API for Business, which is the enterprise option with technical support, a service-level agreement and additional benefits. There's also a non-profit organisation solution.
Via ZDNet US