API for Google and how it has changed…

Google has updated its terms for displaying maps online, which will require action from yourselves and us. Originally, inserting the map feature was free – however, Google has now implemented a billing structure.

To move forward, there are two options…

  • Billing Account for Google Maps
  • Static Image of the location/area you wish to display

So, what’s changing with Google Maps and APIs?

Google has updated the way the Maps platform works, meaning there are some changes that will need to be made to your website to ensure you carry on using them correctly and they display properly. Maps are changing because Google is transitioning its Application Programming Interface (APIs) into three services, Google Maps, Routes, and Places.

To display Google Maps on your website, you are now required to have a valid API key and Google Cloud Platform account with active billing set-up.

Do I have to pay for Google Maps?

The short answer, you shouldn’t have to…

According to Google, you will be provided with $200 free credit on a monthly basis, which Google has deemed to be plentiful for standard users. They estimate that most users will have a monthly usage that will keep them within the free tier. This means that you can continue to use the much-loved Google Maps platform on your website for free.

How do Google bill for Google Maps and how can I track my usage?

Google now bill based on the usage volume from your Maps included on your website, on a monthly pay-as-you-go method. If you are within the free tier you will have no costs to pay, however, you will need to assign a payment method to your account just in case your usage does exceed the $200 free credit. The great thing about the new Google Maps system is that there are no up-front commitments, termination fees or usage limits, so you will only pay for usage over the $200 free credit.

You will be able to monitor your usage through the Google Cloud Platform Console, which means you’ll know if you’re close to exceeding the free credit limit and whether you will be charged for your usage. This is also where you will need to allocate your payment method for Google Maps.

Are there any alternatives to paying for Google Maps?

You shouldn’t need to pay a fee for using Google Maps, however, this isn’t certain, and you may exceed your free credit limit.

If you would like to avoid being in the position where you may need to pay for usage, we can assist by inserting a static image of your business location to replace your existing Google Map display. We can then add a link to take your website users to Google Maps, which avoid you needing to be charged.

If you would like help with ensuring your Google Maps is set up and displaying correctly on your website, please give us a call on 01273 358812.