Google Maps Cost: How Many Developers Will Have to Pay?

Adam DuVander, October 27th, 2011

Google MapsAfter silently listing prices in its FAQ for a few months, Google has announced plans to charge for high usage of its Google Maps API. The company is making clear policies that have been present for some time. Google Maps went enterprise in 2006 when its Premier Maps was released. Many of the largest sites using Google Maps are already paying. While some may worry about Google charging for what has been free to most developers for six years, most Google Maps sites won’t be charged and those that go over will be able to pay for overages in small increments.

Sites will receive 25,000 free map views per day, which translates to 750,000 pageviews per month. Developers using more than the free limit will begin paying $4 per 1,000 pageviews. Unless high traffic sites are fully based on maps, they are unlikely to go above the limit.

Google’s announcement explains how developers can determine their usage levels:

To assist in evaluating whether your site is exceeding the usage limits we will shortly be adding the Maps API to the Google APIs Console. Once available you will be able to track your usage in the APIs Console by providing an APIs Console key when you load the Maps API. If you find that your site does exceed the usage limits each day you can opt to pay for your excess usage by enabling billing on your APIs Console project. We will then start billing excess usage to your credit card when we begin enforcing the usage limits in early 2012.

The Google API console launched a year ago and provides transparency into usage limits of many of Google’s APIs. The console also introduced the concept of billing to a Google account, leading the way for the for-fee translation API and this maps announcement.

The full pricing is available in the Maps FAQ. Perhaps more worrisome to developers is the pricing for Google’s year-old styled maps. The innovative feature, which allows anyone to change the colors and visibility of map elements, has a much smaller limit of 2,500 map views per day. Styled maps have the same cost of $4 per 1,000 map views above the limit up to 25,000 map views. Usage above 25,000 map views then cost $8 per 1,000 map views for styled maps. The difference in rate limits translates to $90 per day, then double the price above the 25,000 number.

Unfortunately, the price for styled maps could impact many more developers. Perhaps Google is charging for what it knows is a unique feature amongst its competitors. The feature is also likely extremely computation-intensive, which means it costs Google quite a bit more to provide that service.

Google is also providing developers a reason to finally move their maps off of Google Maps V2. Overages for the old version of Google Maps costs $10 per 1,000 map views.

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38 Responses to “Google Maps Cost: How Many Developers Will Have to Pay?”

October 27th, 2011
at 5:20 am
Comment by: Stereo

This should encourage developers to look into OpenStreetMap. In many areas, data quality is as good or better than Google. Cloudmade has a similar tile API, and setting up your own server to generate map tiles for free isn’t that complicated.

October 27th, 2011
at 6:55 am
Comment by: Google Maps API förändrar villkoren

[...] Google Maps Usage Fees: How Many Developers Will Have to Pay? A Million Thoughts NL » Onbeperkt gratis gebruik Google Maps API … Developers: Your Google [...]

October 27th, 2011
at 11:41 am
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay | music tube

[...] will that cost? “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $ 4 per 1,000 page views, and adds that “unless high-traffic sites [...]

October 27th, 2011
at 1:26 pm
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay | iPhone 5 News and Information

[...] will that cost? “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 per 1,000 page views, and adds that “unless high-traffic sites are [...]

October 27th, 2011
at 3:25 pm
Comment by: John

Bing Maps is still a good option. Especially now that they have the imagery from the global ortho project. They have the latest and best quality imagery of any online map.

October 27th, 2011
at 5:07 pm
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay | iphone new 2012

[...] will that cost? “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 per 1,000 page views, and adds that “unless high-traffic sites are [...]

October 27th, 2011
at 5:24 pm
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25000 daily and you pay – The Guardian (blog) « Free Ads Service

[...] will that cost? “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 per 1,000 page views, and adds that “unless high-traffic sites are [...]

October 28th, 2011
at 12:42 am
Comment by: Mike

I guess i’ts time to explore other options like bing…

October 28th, 2011
at 12:43 am
Comment by: OMAR

Well… or maybe pay… its not that much, I mean, if you are using more than 25,000 a day, you are probably making huge sums of money

October 28th, 2011
at 1:04 am
Comment by: Mole

There are many alternatives to Google Maps, not least Bing and OpenStreetMap.

October 28th, 2011
at 2:38 am
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay – - API MarketingAPI Marketing

[...] will that cost? “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 per 1,000 page views, and adds that “unless high-traffic sites are [...]

October 28th, 2011
at 7:48 am
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay | Daily News, Daily Trends, Daily Topics, Celebrity Gossip, Sports,Travel

[...] “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 per 1,000 page [...]

October 28th, 2011
at 2:36 pm
Comment by: GOOGLE MAPS API, THE START OF AN END? « THE.CAT

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October 28th, 2011
at 4:09 pm
Comment by: News developers worried about new cost to use Google Maps - SATELITE PHOTOS – SATELITE PHOTOS

[...] ProgrammableWeb | Wired.com | ReadWriteWeb If a developers in your newsroom seem scarcely stressed this week, it’s substantially since Google will start charging for use of a Google Maps API after Jan. 1. “An epoch has finished for a initial API that unequivocally done mashups mainstream,” writes ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick. For simple maps, Google will concede 25,000 uses of a API giveaway per day (9.125 million a year). That drops to 2,500 per day (912,500 a year) for maps that use tradition styles. Above that, Google will start charging by a use or try to sell an “enterprise” license. According to Serdar Tumgoren, a developer during The Washington Post, that permit costs $10,000 for a million page views a year and goes adult to $40,000 for 5 million a year. [...]

October 29th, 2011
at 12:15 am
Comment by: Google Maps Charge « Wir sprechen Online.

[...] Maps ChargeGoogle adds a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you’re charged; http://eicker.at/GoogleMapsCharge [...]

October 30th, 2011
at 3:13 am
Comment by: News developers worried about new cost to use Google Maps | Astrid Bidanec

[...] ProgrammableWeb | Wired.com | ReadWriteWeb If the developers in your newsroom seem unusually stressed this week, it’s probably because Google will start charging for use of the Google Maps API after Jan. 1. “An era has ended for… Read more Share this: Tweet this! [...]

November 4th, 2011
at 3:55 am
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay | Daily News, Daily Trends, Daily Topics, Celebrity Gossip, Sports,Travel

[...] “Contact sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 per 1,000 page views, [...]

November 4th, 2011
at 9:48 pm
Comment by: Google puts a limit on free Google Maps API: over 25,000 daily and you pay | Daily News, Daily Trends, Daily Topics, Celebrity Gossip, Sports,Travel

[...] sales”, says the linked page, unhelpfully. Programmableweb says that it will cost about $4 [...]

November 29th, 2011
at 10:28 am
Comment by: Google Maps Charging Fewer Than 1%, MapQuest 0%

[...] is one of the most popular APIs in our directory. A month back, we reported on Google’s plans to charge for high usage of its Google Maps API. This led to a good amount of confusion among developers on whether they [...]

November 29th, 2011
at 12:08 pm
Comment by: Google Maps Charging Fewer Than 1%, MapQuest 0% - ALL MAPS – ALL MAPS

[...] is one of a many renouned APIs in a directory. A month back, we reported on Google’s skeleton to charge for high usage of a Google Maps API. This led to a good volume of difficulty among developers on either they would [...]

November 29th, 2011
at 8:38 pm
Comment by: Google Maps Charging Fewer Than 1%, MapQuest 0% - SATELITE PHOTOS – SATELITE PHOTOS

[...] is one of a many renouned APIs in a directory. A month back, we reported on Google’s skeleton to charge for high usage of a Google Maps API. This led to a good volume of difficulty among developers on either they would [...]

January 11th, 2012
at 3:10 pm
Comment by: Google Maps Pricing Sends Real Estate Site to Open Source

[...] October Google announced pricing for its popular Google Maps API. Though most sites won’t hit the free limits, those with a [...]

February 3rd, 2012
at 7:03 am
Comment by: Google France paga multa por ofrecer Google Maps gratis | PoderPDA

[...] Sin embargo, algo que no se menciona en la fuente es que mientras Google Maps sí es completamente gratuito para los usuarios finales (claro, si no consideramos que lo que damos a cambio es nuestra información personal para que nos acomoden anuncios), el servicio no es del todo gratuito para los desarrolladores, a quienes recientemente impuso un cargo si sus aplicaciones sobrepasan cierto límite de llamadas a Google Maps. [...]

February 3rd, 2012
at 7:12 am
Comment by: Blog de Avízpate – Google France paga multa por ofrecer Google Maps gratuitamente; Bottin Cartographes le dice a Google que no sea tan fácil

[...] Sin embargo, algo que no se menciona en la fuente es que mientras Google Maps sí es completamente gratuito para los usuarios finales (claro, si no consideramos que lo que damos a cambio es nuestra información personal para que nos acomoden anuncios), el servicio no es del todo gratuito para los desarrolladores, a quienes recientemente impuso un cargo si sus aplicaciones sobrepasan cierto límite de llamadas a Google Maps. [...]

February 15th, 2012
at 5:28 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Plus, YouTube Upload and 23 New APIs

[...] Google Maps pricing was announced, we learned that fewer than 1% would be affected. The biggest geocoding site in the [...]

February 15th, 2012
at 6:31 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Plus, YouTube Upload and 23 New APIs |

[...] Google Maps pricing was announced, we learned that fewer than 1% would be affected. The biggest geocoding site in the [...]

February 16th, 2012
at 4:44 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Maps, Twitter Replay and 10 New APIs

[...] most popular API’s recent fees for Google Maps only results in cost for fewer than 1% of Google Maps [...]

February 16th, 2012
at 10:38 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Maps, Twitter Replay and 10 New APIs | Polish Interpreting Services and Interpreters

[...] most popular API’s recent fees for Google Maps only results in cost for fewer than 1% of Google Maps [...]

February 16th, 2012
at 11:17 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Maps, Twitter Replay and 10 New APIs | The Maps Blog

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February 17th, 2012
at 1:41 am
Comment by: Today in APIs: Google Maps, Twitter Replay and 10 New APIs | My Blog

[...] many renouned API’s new fees for Google Maps usually formula in cost for fewer than 1% of Google Maps [...]

March 1st, 2012
at 10:22 am
Comment by: 23 Alternatives to Google Maps

[...] for adding maps to the web. It’s powerful, customizable and for most sites, free. However, Google Maps pricing did encourage several large sites to make the move to other options, most recently foursquare. If [...]

March 1st, 2012
at 11:16 am
Comment by: 23 Alternatives to Google Maps at yahoochili.searchengine.hoops227.org

[...] choice for adding maps to the web. It’s powerful, customizable and for most sites, free. However, Google Maps pricing did encourage several large sites to make the move to other options, most recently foursquare. If [...]

March 16th, 2012
at 2:10 pm
Comment by: Google Maps Family Gets a New Home

[...] prominently included is a link to a complete run-down on licensing, pricing and terms. The Google Maps pricing was announced in October and only affects sites that use more than 25,000 views per day or have [...]

March 21st, 2012
at 2:04 am
Comment by: Pierino

I cannot beleive that you people are crying about paying for such a helpful sight. Four dollars per 1000 views and its been free for ages! Yah I suppose you guys dont pay for music either. When were you told everything should be free? Get a grip people!Google is mapping the whole planet and you think that costs nothing? Hello!!!

April 11th, 2012
at 11:15 am
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June 22nd, 2012
at 10:01 am
Comment by: Google Maps to Cost Much, Much Less For Heavy Users, Begin Enforcement

[...] October Google announced the cost for Google Maps if you use above 25,000 map loads per day. Many developers balked at paying for a service that had [...]

July 5th, 2012
at 2:27 am
Comment by: StormGate

You really can’t complain about paying a minimal amount for using Google Maps. Never has there been a more helpful API tbh, it’s slick and has probably the worlds best CDN backing it up.

July 10th, 2012
at 9:49 am
Comment by: What Google Maps Developers Want

[...] styled maps it planted itself firmly as a serious platform for mapping. Perhaps that’s why Google Maps now costs money above 25,000 map views per [...]

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.