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Impact of the new pricing model of Google Maps

By Akhil Kumar 21st November 2019


Let’s start with a note that we all love “GOOGLE”. We even admit to the fact that Google provides a vast number of free services to internet users to simplify their tasks. Let’s talk about one of the very popular services and that is Google Maps. Most of the features of Google Maps were free till July 16th, 2018 when Google made a controversial move by changing the pricing model of Google Maps. Let’s dive into details regarding the new pricing plans and other alternatives to it.

Re-defined Pricing Model:

“Pay-as-you-Go” is the new pricing structure for organizations using Google Maps API to deliver customized maps for their users. We even have a new name and that’s the “Google Maps Platform”. The newly named Google Maps Platform has condensed the existing 18 individual API’s into 3 core products under the Google cloud umbrella, each of them having their very own pricing structure.

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

2) Routes – For delivering and receiving driving directions and traffic updates.

3) Places – To get details of location names, addresses, reviews, etc.

The standard and the premium plan are being merged into the new Pay-as-you-Go plan where the customer support is free. Previously keyless access for development purposes was supported but now you need to have a valid API key to use Google Maps Platform for map calls and other geocoding services. Keyless calls will either return an error or low-resolution maps with watermark “for development purposes only”. You will have to create a billing account by depositing your credit card details to get a valid API key.

Once you are done with the billing, you can access a free credit of $200 per month. Using this credit you can use Google Maps Platform for map calls and other geocoding services.

Map calls – The number of free map calls from 25k per day (750k per month) has been reduced to 28k per month (almost 30 times less). The price per additional 1000 requests has been increased from $0.5 to $7 (14 times more).

Geocoding services – There are no more free calls. There are some minimum transaction fees. For “Auto-complete per character”, the minimum price is $2.83 for 1000 calls up to 70,000 calls per month. For “Places Details”, the minimum price is $17.00 for 1000 calls up to 11,000 calls per month.

If your credit limit exceeds $200 then your credit card will be charged automatically. Moreover, there are no adjustments in the pricing structure for international locations. In short, we could say that developers/organizations using the service in Africa have to pay the same amount as the developers/organizations using the service in the U.S. even though revenue generation is vastly different between the two countries. So by approximate calculations for average usage in total, we could conclude that the cost of reliance on the new Google Maps Platform is from $0 to $5000 with an additional charge of $1500.

The new changes have made a draconian impact on organizations. Web developers are calling up their clients to ask for credit card details and to tell them about the increased pricing, companies are redesigning their sites and Google itself is facing the heat in the form of comments. One of the users even commented that “You can’t just take a service that’s been free for years and then start charging for it once everyone has committed to it.”


Initially, developers thought that it won’t make much of a difference for them in their business but all that changed pretty quickly. Even businesses that are into pickup and delivery may face problems because of the increased pricing. They may have to pay a huge amount for the usage of dynamic maps and due to this reason they might end up in loss. Now everyone may have second thoughts regarding the selection of a good alternative for Google Maps Platform.

One of the alternatives which I would highly recommend is Flight maps. Flight maps provide one of the finest services for mapping and route optimization as well. It supports all of the use cases like:

  • On-demand and Precise Logistics
  • Travel and Stay Planning
  • Store Locator
  • Asset Tracking

and many more…

Features like Forward and Reverse Geocoding, Providing Directions, Support for various data formats, etc. are also being provided. The Pricing model of Flight maps is affordable as well. Unlike the new Google Maps Platform, You don’t have to exhaust a lot of money. Let me explain the pricing for one of the widely used maps API – Directions in brief. Flight maps doesn’t charge a single penny for the first 150k transactions. If the number of transactions exceeds 150k then you can opt for our plan of $200. Under this plan, you can make a total of 1 million transactions. Suppose you only need to make 300k transactions. You may think that after 150k free transactions you have no choice other than paying $200 for increasing the limit of transactions and that will be pointless. Paying money for the extra transactions that you won’t even use is actually a stupid thing and you might end up in discarding Flight maps and going for an alternative. I would say that your choice of not paying money for the transactions you won’t even use is a wise one but you might regret the choice of discarding Flight maps. Taking these kinds of cases into consideration we have designed a special customized plan for our customers. In this plan, you can contact with our ever-ready support team and set up your pricing plan for the additional transactions that you will make. Trust me, this special feature is not present in any other mapping services available in the market. Get in Touch or contact us at 01141187772 to know more about Flight maps and its exciting and affordable prices.

Wrap Up:

Its high time for businesses to think of something productive. If there’s any adieu then the day isn’t far when businesses have to suffer a lot due to the new pricing model. Last but not least, Flight maps provide customized solutions as well. For example, if you want to integrate Optimized ETA API of Google Maps Platform and Directions API of Flight Maps, we will provide a quick fix for that as well.

If you enjoyed reading this, we’re sure you will also love checking out what we have in store on our   Youtube channel. You can also head to our   home page for more info!

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