On May 2, 2018, Google announce the launch of its new Google Maps Platform. The new platform introduces new pricing model and usage limit of the Google maps API.
The new changes will go into effect on June 11, 2018. Make sure to update your account before then, otherwise, the Maps services will stop working on your sites.
Listed below are the important things you need to know about the new changes:
- Google Maps API key is now required in order to use the Maps API service. Without an API key, Google Maps features will not work on your site.
- All accounts are now require a linked credit card in the Google API Console. Use the tansition tool now to enable billing on your accoount.
- The usage limit and prices have changed. Here you can find the new usage limit and pricing.
New Pricing Model
With the new platform, you are required to provide a credit card in your Google API Console. However, this does not mean that you will pay for the Google Maps services that you use.
With the new pricing model you get $200 worth of usage every month. Google announced that the $200 credit will be enough for most users who have been using the maps services for free until now.
By now, you should have received an email from Google telling you the average of your past usage of the maps services, and if you are expected to go over the $200 credit.
GEO my WP and Usage Limit
Listed below are the API services that GEO my WP currently uses, and the usage limit within the $200 credit per month.
- Dynamic Maps - up to 28,000 loads.
- Geocoding API - up to 40,000 requests.
- Directions - up to 40,000 requests.
- Distance Matrix - up to 40,000 requests.
- Street View - up to 28,000 panos.
Adding Billing To an Existing Account
Google provides a transition tool that you can use to enable billing on your account.
Navigate to the tansition tool and login using Google account that has the maps API key projects. Once logged in, the transition tool will guide you through all the steps to enable billing on your account.
An Alternative to Google Maps API
Although the new prices should not effect most users. I believe it is time to integrate different alternatives to Google Maps API in GEO my WP. I have already started working on a new version of GEO my WP that will include LeafLet and OpenStreetMaps as an alternative to Google Maps. OpenStreetMaps services are free and do not required an API key.
This alternative will be included in GEO my WP core plugin. And additional mapping solutions might be available as extensions in the future.
I am working hard trying to have the new version of GEO my WP ready before Google's changes go into effect. If it is not ready by then, it should be ready not too long after.
Regardless, please make sure to update your account before June 11, 2018 to prevent any issues with Google services and with GEO my WP.