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How much does Google Maps API Cost? All Prices and Plans Explained

Google Maps API Prices and Plans Demystified - Promatics Technologies

We enjoyed our first stint with Google Maps services in 2010. After 10 years of continuous dependence on Google Maps led lifestyle improvements and industry transformations, it would not be an exaggeration to claim how it has changed the way we navigate through geographies. Google Maps serves directions on transportation methods, sets routes, and gets real-time traffic updates with verbal instructions in addition to much more.

 

App using Google Maps

 

Google also created Google Maps API to help developers integrate the maps into their websites. The next-gen Google Maps API offers more advanced industry-centric solutions to drive innovation. These solutions are tailored for functionalities like asset tracking and real-time ride-sharing. Modern app developers and web developers must embed the new Google Maps navigation experience directly into their projects to optimize their customer experience.

 

Latest Google Maps API Prices and Plans

Google Maps has introduced a platform API ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing model some time back. The revamped model ensures more flexibility and control for developers who choose to use Google Maps APIs. The developers can use a limited or large section of the API and pay for precisely what they use.

 

Google Maps Platform has neatly compressed the initial 18 individual API into three core products under the Google cloud tag. As websites and apps use Google Maps API to deliver customized maps, each of the core products comes with a distinct pricing structure.

 

1) Google Maps – Delivers customized dynamic maps, Street Views, and 360-degree views.

2) Routes – Delivers and captures driving directions and traffic updates.

3) Places – Serves details like location names, addresses, reviews, etc.

 

2.1 Google Maps Prices and Plans

 

The much talked about new Geo-location API helps websites and apps scale quickly as they grow. The new ‘Pay-as-you-go’ model brings together the best of standard and premium plans and offers free customer support.

 

2.2 Google Maps Routes Prices and Plans

 

While initially, developers enjoyed keyless access, the new model mandates having a valid API key to use Google Maps Platform for map calls and other geocoding services. With a valid API key as well as Google cloud platform billing account businesses can access this new version. Keyless access favors returns in the form of errors or low-resolution maps with a watermark that can deteriorate the web or app UX. All businesses need to create a billing account by sharing their credit card details to enjoy access to a valid API key. Once they enable billing, companies can access a free $200 monthly usage plan to leverage Maps, Routes and other Places products.

 

2.3 Google Places Prices and Plans

Chronology of Google Maps Platform Developments

Initially, Google Maps for Business offered two plans, namely:

 

A.) Standard Plan

Free usage per day with some additional usage (capped daily) that is billed monthly.

 

B.) Premium Plan

A yearly, prepaid plan issued against credits-based license without a daily cap on usage. It comes with Google Support.

 

With the launch of Google Maps platform on July 16th, 2018, there was a shift in policies and implementation. While the Enterprise license users of Google Maps remained unaffected, the users of the standard plan received a few updates with regards to the usage policy. The approved plan users had their daily usage caps restricted to free usage tiers, some got some credits from Google, to facilitate their transition to the enterprise license. Some users made code changes to account for keyless usage.

 

Users who created Google Maps platform accounts after September 10, 2018, we’re allowed $200 credit per month per API. The $200 credit is divided over a month, which means everyday $6.67 worth of API calls can be made for free.

 

Google has substantially reduced the base price of Google maps premium plan to assist developers and to promote the adoption of the enterprise license. The new program is of the postpaid kind, and Google Maps APIs users will receive a bill at the end of the month-wise billing cycle, depending on their usage during the interim period.

 

Cost Bump for Businesses

All web development and app development companies regardless of their usage, are required to have a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account. These are prerequisites for availing the free $200 credit that facilitates access to not just dynamic but also static maps. The credit line also lets developers leverage easy access to Routes and Places products of the Google Maps Platform. The price hike has had a detrimental impact on businesses, especially the ones that cater to small niches and have a relatively more limited user base.

 

While it can be challenging to estimate the exact price difference, for most businesses using it, Google Maps API fees are one of the highest single running costs in their business endeavour. Developers with apps or websites that surpass the limit of 25,000 map views per day were required to pay $0.50 per 1,000 additional requests for up to 100,000 per 24 hours, before the price hike. However, the insight of the new changes in the pricing model the 1,000 other applications would cost $7now. Further, the number of free map calls has been reduced from 25,000 per day to 28,000 per month. When it comes to geocoding services, some transactional fees are involved. For example, “Auto-complete per character” requires a minimum price of $2.83 for 1000 calls for up to 70,000 calls per month and for “Places Details”, the minimum amount is $17.00 for 1000 requests, for up to 11,000 calls per month.

 

When a mobile app development company or a web developer crosses the free credit limit of $200, their credit card is charged with the balance payment. Google doesn’t make any adjustments in the pricing structure for international locations, keeping the pricing uniform throughout the globe.

 

To give a brief idea, if you make a simple map with a marker, say to point to a particular location, you’ll continue to get it for free under the new system. However, if you are making a more advanced product with the Embed API in Directions, Views or Search mode, you will be up for billing. Even updating the map with any new location details, counts as a separate call.

 

Conclusion

The Google Maps API price hike can be detrimental for small businesses, but still, some developers like to believe that the benefits that Google brings along are compelling enough to pay the raise. Since Google Maps leverages real-time data that is supplied from its massive user base, it is continually updated with more than 25 million updates and over 20 million user contributions over a single day. Developed with ML capabilities, it promises an optimized experience across devices and entities teams to continue its use despite the increase in the charges and the availability of other open-source alternatives. Development teams appreciate the unique features offered by Google maps in terms of UX and interactivity, which are far more developed when compared to its competitors.

 

Promatics Technologies has always advocated Google Maps over its competitors despite the hike. With years of experience working with Google Maps APIs our experts have in-depth knowledge about which API should be used given a particular requirement.  Our team believes that the level of custom integration that we can enable with the Google Maps JavaScript API is far advanced than what they can do with other options. Businesses that stay under the set free limits granted by Google are not charged, although they sign-up for it through a credit card. However, in case they happen to exceed these limits, or if Google recalls it’s $200 monthly free credit limit, they would be billed. We believe the best way to avoid unforeseen expenses is to set billing alerts and daily quotas in advance. Schedule in a free consultation with us if you are looking at Google Maps APIs solutions.

 

Sahil Verma

Sahil Verma

A highly detail oriented and committed professional with years of experience in technical project management. His quick understanding and instant problem solving ability not only makes clients' life easier, but also helps deliver the assignments with assured quality. He is well versed with agile and waterfall methodologies. He has comprehensive knowledge of various technologies and is quickly adaptable as per the requirement. Good communicator, leverage technical, business and financial acumen to Communicate effectively with client executives and their respective teams. Sahil enjoys spending time with his family and friends and fond of reading technical article, blogs and literature.

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Promatics is an ISO 9001:2008 certified offshore web and mobile application development company with a strong team of 100+ highly skilled IT experts delighting SMEs across USA, Europe and APAC. Our services and solutions help clients to achieve tangible business value and remain competitive in today’s evolving marketplaces.

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