Get Ready To Begin Paying For Google Maps Integration


By: Drew McManus

In: Web Tech

On July 17, 2018 Google’s new pricing structure kicks in for the use of Maps, Routes, and Places. You’ll be required to create an account and a billing profile.

These changes are all part of the new Google Maps Platform. Good news is the program will help streamline a lot of existing hurdles to use Maps, Routes, and Places but the bad includes required account and billing profile.

And when they say billing profile, that means maintaining a valid credit card to cover expenses if your API usage goes over the free cap or for any of the fee-only services and connections. Here’s how google defines the free tier and related services:

Starting July 16, 2018, when you enable billing, you get $200 free usage every month for Maps, Routes, or Places. Based on the millions of users using our APIs today, most of them can continue to use Google Maps Platform for free with this credit.

You only pay for what you use. You can review rates and access your spending any time in your Google Cloud Platform Console, where you can also set daily quotas to protect against unexpected increases. You can also set billing alerts to receive email notifications when charges reach a preset threshold determined by you.

Even though the first $200 a month is free, we ask for your credit card or billing account to cover any amount you spend over this free credit. When you’re billed, we’ll credit your account for the first $200 of monthly usage. If your estimated usage will be above $200 a month and you don’t have a credit or debit card to set up a billing account, a local Google Maps Partner may be able to help.

Nonprofit organizations do receive a break, but only in the form of higher usage quotas and licensing grants (enrollment details). You’ll still need to create an account and keep credit card information on file.

Most nonprofit arts orgs use Maps in the most straightforward ways, such as including a map to venue/office/rehearsal locations whereas Routes and Places aren’t as common.

Moving Forward

  1. Before taking the time to set up a billing account, conduct an audit of your website(s) and verify where and how you’re using Maps, Routes, or Places.
  2. If Maps aren’t a critical feature, you’re likely better off removing them entirely in favor of using an outbound link to Google Maps Directions. One benefit here is this allows the site visitor’s device to handle processing the directions request using the preferred app they’ve set as the default to handle directions requests.

Simply put, while embedding a live Google map into your site can be cool, it probably isn’t contributing very much to actual conversion or overall user experience.

There are certainly exceptions to that rule, such as nonprofit arts service organizations that offer aggregated event information about member users across a large metropolitan area or state.

If you have questions, reach out to your developer and ask them if they can help you through the decision-making process.

Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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