Google Slashes Maps API Prices

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

Google alters price and limit structure for business users

Google has slashed the prices and simplified the limits of its Google Maps API for enterprises, saying the measures are a result of customer feedback.

The price cuts come after Apple announced it was dropping Google Maps in iOS 6 in favour of its own in-house map application.

Cheaper maps

“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,” said Thor Mitchell, product manager for Google Maps API. “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.”

Google says that while the Maps API will remain free for the vast majority of sites, some developers remain worried about the potential costs. In response, it has lowered the price from $4 (£2.57) per 1,000 map loads to 50 cents (32p).The distinction between styled maps and regular maps has been eliminated, with the same price structure applying to both types.

Sites are limited to 25,000 page views every 90 consecutive days before they are required to pay for the privilege, although it estimated that just 0.35 percent of sites regularly exceed this limit. Google said no map will stop working if there is a sudden surge in popularity and that it will contact such websites to discuss their options. Non-profit organisations will continue to not be subject to the limit.

Google recently announced a number of new features for Google Maps, such as 3D maps of major cities and offline maps, while it has also launched Google Maps Coordinate, a location-sharing service that allows enterprises to keep track of workers. The search giant was fined in a French court in February for being ‘anti-competitive’ as it offers its maps free of charge.

What do you know about Google? Find out with our quiz!