Important Updates in Google Maps!

If you’re not already aware, Google Maps (GMaps) announced some important updates to continue using their APIs. Here is an excerpt of the announcement from GMaps Platform:

Starting on June 11, 2018, you’ll need a valid API key and a billing account to access our APIs. When you enable billing, you will get $200 free usage every month for Maps, Routes, or Places. Based on the millions of users using our APIs today, most of them can continue to use Google Maps Platform for free with this credit. Having a billing account helps us understand our developers’ needs better and allows you to scale seamlessly. To avoid a service interruption to your projects, please visit our Get Started page to create a project, generate an API key, and enable a billing account. Once you generate and secure an API key, make sure to update your application with the new API key. Most websites and applications may use the standard Maps JavaScript API free of charge. A project is restricted to the complimentary per-day-limit of 25,000 map loads, unless you enable billing on the project. If billing is enabled on the project, the standard Maps JavaScript API supports up to 100,000 map loads daily. If your website exceeds 25,000 map loads in a day, the API will cease to function for the rest of the day, unless you enable billing to access higher daily quota. We’ll continue to partner with Google programs that bring our products to nonprofitsstartupscrisis response, and news media organizations. We’ve put new processes in place to help us scale these programs to hundreds of thousands of organizations and more countries around the world.

Please take a few minutes to review the announcement to familiarize yourself with the upcoming changes.

Updates summary

  1. Starting on June 11, 2018, you’ll need to generate a GMaps API key.
  2. The billing requirement will be enforced and you’ll need to associate your projects/APIs with a billing account.
  3. In return, GMaps will grant you a $200 USD credit each month. This credit will allow you to continue using GMaps for free. View the pricing table for more details on what you can get under the $200 free credit.
  4. If your website generates requests or map load volumes below the complimentary $200 per month usage, your usage is free. Usage that exceeds the $200 monthly credit will be charged to your billing account but only if you enable billing. See the Pricing Sheet for an overview of cost per API.
  5. New pricing changes will go into effect starting July 16, 2018.

My personal opinion about GMaps updates

I also believe that most users, including myself, will continue using the GMaps platform for free with the $200/mo credit. I can say that if you’re not a Premium Plan customer of GMaps, and that your site generates reasonable traffic, then, you’ll continue using GMaps APIs like you were always doing and your cost will be covered by the $200 monthly free credit. However, because providing a billing account can make most of us uncomfortable knowing that we’ll be charged if our usage exceeds the $200 monthly credit, i highly recommend you to change the quotas limits in order to protect yourself against unexpected increases in use. I also recommend you to set up billing alerts in order to receive emails when the charges on the billing account reach a threshold you set.

Note: Please note that the changes are required by GMaps and are outside of our control. Note also that nothing is required from the plugin’s (Progress Map WordPress Plugin) side and that the plugin will continue to work fine. You’ll have to provide your billing info to Google only, not to a GMaps developer (including myself). All changes must be done in the Google Maps section in your Google Cloud Platform Console!