Google Maps Pricing Sends Real Estate Site to Open Source

Adam DuVander, January 11th, 2012

Google MapsIn October Google announced pricing for its popular Google Maps API. Though most sites won’t hit the free limits, those with a lot of traffic may be scrambling for a solution. That was the case for a New York real estate service, which discovered their bill would be $200,000 – $300,000 per year.

StreetEasy’s Sebastian Delmont wrote about the company’s experience in a Google Plus post:

25,000 free map views per day, and $4 per CPM (1,000 views) beyond that. On Christmas day, when everybody was opening their presents, we did ten times that. On a good day, we do 600K-700K pageviews.

We did the math and came up with numbers that reminded me of Oracle licensing in 1999. Six, seven, eight hundred thousand dollars. We met with Google salespeople, expecting to negotiate better terms, and they were nice, and they offered us discounts, but only to about half of what we’ve calculated.

In our opinion, their price was off by an order of magnitude.

The solution for StreetEasy was to go to open source tools, something that is becoming more common. Rolling your own mapping setup is getting much easier and gives a lot of flexibility in displaying maps. It’s still far from being as easy as mapping APIs, but when there’s a tradeoff like this, the development time will often pencil out.

Geo apps are still a hairy area where I expect most will want to build off someone else’s expertise. And there are still many options, including the 25 JavaScript mapping APIs listed in our directory.

Tags: Mapping
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10 Responses to “Google Maps Pricing Sends Real Estate Site to Open Source”

January 11th, 2012
at 5:30 pm
Comment by: Mike

hmmm…being a developer for a software service company, I wonder if they really did the math for going open source. I often hear about some of our potential customers “knowing a guy” who can write the app for them or deciding they can hire and do it in house, but it would be most likely a year before they were comparable in feature set to us, and by then we will have continued to innovate. So when you look at it that way, we are usually cheaper than hiring a dedicated dev staff.

I’m not saying it was a good or bad idea, but people often forget how much a good full time developer costs in terms of salary and benefits. You might get a good head start with open source tools, but someone has to maintain the code and update the code with new features.

January 13th, 2012
at 1:01 am
Comment by: enterprise mony business - Feds Should Stay Out Of Google-Twitter Social Search Spat – Forbes

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January 15th, 2012
at 8:01 am
Comment by: 73 New APIs: AT&T, Social Analytics and Online Learning

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January 15th, 2012
at 4:21 pm
Comment by: 73 New APIs: AT&T, Social Analytics and Online Learning | cellphonetrackerapp.com

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January 20th, 2012
at 3:10 am
Comment by: SeanMarkup

Bangalore real estate prices are kissing skies day by day.Bangalore city has some of the finest real estete projects which have made the city truly world class in nature.Various areas in the city have hiked the realty value when apartment culture coupled with business aspects are coming up like never before.

February 2nd, 2012
at 9:03 am
Comment by: Google Maps API Usage Fee – How much will it cost? « ellanti

[...] StreetEasy chooses Open source map solution [...]

February 2nd, 2012
at 9:09 am
Comment by: ellanti

interesting post for a case study. 25K calls/day for a city specific real estate site is large. Perhaps the landing page showing map automatically is a contributor to the volume. Nevertheless good story.

See some hypotheticals here: ellanti.wordpress.com. The assumptions here probably don’t reflect specific cases like streeteasy.

February 29th, 2012
at 2:18 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Foursquare Maps, Topsy in Russia and 21 New APIs

[...] has embraced the open maps movement. Russia’s biggest search engine integrates with the Topsy API. Plus: Disqus comments [...]

March 1st, 2012
at 9:16 am
Comment by: How Foursquare Dropped Google and Joined the OpenStreetMap Movement

[...] While OpenStreetMap isn’t perfect, and there is still a lot of work to be done, it has come a long way toward creating an atlas of the entire world. Foursquare acknowledged that one of the reasons they chose to join the OpenStreetMap community is they’ve seen an increasing number of companies migrating from Google Maps. [...]

March 1st, 2012
at 3:40 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Foursquare Maps, Topsy in Russia and 21 New APIs | Sensor Magazine

[...] has embraced the open maps movement. Russia’s biggest search engine integrates with the Topsy API. Plus: Disqus comments available in [...]

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