PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – For all whose websites embed Google maps, change is right around the corner.
On May 2, 2018, Google introduced Google Map Platform, the next generation of Google Maps. The Google Map Platform claims to provide building blocks to create location-based apps and experiences – to find, explore and add new features to apps and sites.
With all products integrated in the Google Cloud Platform Console, they maintain that the platform is scalable, simple to manage and easier to track usage. The current Google Maps Standard plan, which has no access to customer support, and the Premium plan will be merged into one pay-as-you-go pricing plan. Customer support will be free to all.
The new Google Map Platform has evolved the core application program interfaces (APIs) by simplifying 18 individual APIs into three broad segments-Maps, Routes and Places. The new updates will work with websites’ existing API selections. No additional programming should be required. However…
Beginning on June 11, a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account ARE REQUIRED to access the Google Map Platform products. Google will stop supporting keyless usage and keyless access, meaning any request that doesn’t include an API key or Client ID will deliver a low-resolution maps watermarked with “for development purposes only.”
Once billing is enabled, $200 of free monthly usage (28,000 free page loads per month) for the Maps, Routes and Places products is provided. The free usage will likely cover the majority of websites with simple embedded maps on the contact page without any additional cost.
For more information, to get started or access the transition tool, visit: https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/
Act now. Forward this information to your IT department or website developer. Don’t sweat it: they’ll know what to do. If you don’t have a website developer, do a Google search before June 11, so you can be sure to locate one.
For non-developer folk, APIs give developers options for customizing and embedding Google Maps into web pages and for retrieving data. API keys are a simple encrypted string of code that is useful in browser and mobile applications that don’t have a backend server. The API key is used to track API requests associated with your project for quota and billing.