Google Maps pay-to-play

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Chris 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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    I just received a long email from Google and the gist of it is they are going to start charging for the API … they say my site – which exclusively uses Mappress to serve maps – will exceed the base $200 per month of “free” use of the API. But they don’t say by how much.

    Wondering if this is blindsiding you as well, Chris – their deadline to start charging for use is June 11 – and how, perhaps, to tweak the maps to scale back calls to APIs?

    Thanks, Sandra




    That message caught me by surprise as well. I assumed they were heading in that direction when they demanded the use of API keys, but I didn’t know when or if they would require billing info.

    There’s unfortunately no way to reduce the API calls – MapPress already uses the API as sparingly as possible. One suggestion: if you show maps in post excerpts you might consider limiting them to just single-post detail pages.

    Google does provide a ‘user guide’ that explains how to estimate your future billing:

    It looks like the first 28,000 maps are free. In months where your site gets heavy traffic and exceeds that free allowance, they show $7 per 1,000 map loads.



    Any chance of amending the plugin to use a different base map (open street maps etc.). I’m using your plugin for mashups and I’ve calculated its going to cost me about $5000 per MONTH just for effectively displaying Google’s base map in the background.

    I’m not bothered about directions or anything like that. An option just to use an alternative (perhaps when ticked would grey out Google Maps specific options would work?).

    I realise its a pain for you, but would be a great business opportunity. There are going to be literally tens of thousands of people looking for an alternative over the next month.

    We’ve got a month.



    Yes, very disturbing to figure out what it will cost to keep maps on our website, which is a hiking website so of course maps are crucial.

    For the month of April, which is not one of our busier months, Google says we had 130,703 requests of Maps Javascript API in 30 days, plus 1,577 of Directions API and 1,006 of Geocoding API.

    Under the current plan, there was no charge for less than 25,000 map loads per 24 hours. Never a problem.

    Under the new plan, the above would cost $732 per month. Much more than we earn off the website. Simply not viable.

    So, an important question for you. Mashups are the most important feature of Mappress that we use on our website. If we do not insert mappress code in a post and show a static JPG trail map, but use mappress in the post to simply store the lat-lon of the post and then show it elsewhere as part of a mashup, that would not load the Javascript API on the post, correct?

    We could replace our trail maps with static versions, but being able to show the locations of the trails together on a mashup map is still a crucial element for our website.




    I didn’t notice they’d changed from 25,000 free maps per day to 25,000 per month!

    Static maps may help, since they have a 100,000 monthly free quota. Or, if your individual maps have only 1 POI, you could use the Google embed API ( which seems to have virtually unlimited free usage.

    I’m working on adding both of these options to MapPress as well. I’ll be out of the office until May 15, and it will take a few days after that.

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