Google Makes Significant Changes to Maps Platform

21 June, 2018

After more than 13 years in existence, the Google Maps service has been rebranded as Google Maps Platform - with keyless access no longer supported. Read on to understand what you need to do to avoid seeing your Maps integrations disappear from your website.

Google recently announced major changes to its Google Maps service. These will have a significant effect on companies that rely on Maps API products.

Of the many key points that those using the service need to be aware of, pricing and the API key structure are arguably the most important:

  • Previously, 18 individual APIs were offered. These have now been consolidated into 3 segments - Routes, Places and Maps.
  • Whilst no pricing figures have been provided by Google, developers are reporting an astonishing potential 1,400% increase in fees. This comes as a result of Google’s decision to merge their Standard and Premium plans into a single, pay-as-you-go pricing plan. For those with websites making significant quantities of API calls; there will a substantial bill to foot.

Will Everyone Be Affected By the Changes?

Perhaps most notably, you will no longer be able to use the APIs in the first place unless you create a billing account and hand over your credit card details to Google.

This will be applicable to all users of the Google Maps Platform service - even if you only have a basic map embedded on your contact page.

What’s more, keyless access will no longer be supported. This means that all projects will need valid API keys. Any keyless calls to the Maps JavaScript API or Street View API will return low-quality resolution images with a development watermark.

What Are the Costing Implications?

The first $200 of monthly usage will be free - and if you have a single map on a small website, this might be enough to cover you for the API calls required by your website (but you’ll still need to add your billing details).

If you use Dynamic Maps though, that free bank will only take care of 28,000 free page loads each month. To put this into context, users currently get 25,000 free page loads per day.

I Have Multiple Maps On My Page - How Many API Calls Will Be Made?

Let’s say you have a property page for an accommodation website. On it, you have a standard map; as well as a Street View image - what happens? Well, soon Google will charge you for two API calls.

Equally, if you have two versions of a standard map on a page, you will also get charged twice when the page is loaded.

Why Are Google Enforcing the Changes?

Google have decided to monetise their Maps platform in order to boost security and provide more advanced functionality. This is something website users have no control of, unless they want to stop using the service.

What Will Happen If I Don’t Sort the Changes?

Unfortunately, if you don’t update your billing details and comply with the new requirements, all Google Maps integrations you currently use will disappear from your website. This decision is completely controlled by Google.

The new pricing structure is set to roll out on July 16th 2018, whilst Google are currently rolling out the changes that require you to add the billing details to keep using the service.

Can Evoluted Help?

Yes. We are currently in the process of working with our clients reliant on the Google Maps Platform to ensure that they don’t lose the functionality the service provides.

  1. We’ll speak with you about what work is required from us.
  2. We’ll send you a guide to adding billing details and user access.
  3. We’ll provide the necessary development, although we will have to charge a relatively small fee to complete the work required.

Written by Sean

As chief crafter of copy, Sean’s flair for writing engaging content continues to prove integral to our internal and client marketing activity. With more than 5 years' digital experience, he joined Evoluted back in 2015. He spends his days managing SEO strategy, producing content and assisting Evoluted’s clients.

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