What is a good map pin application

Google Maps new pricing - what should be considered?

Google Maps, Google's map service, has received a new pricing model. With the change, Google is promoting more flexibility, transparency and control when using the cards.1 But what does that mean for website operators? How is an API key created, what are the costs and what alternatives are there? These questions will be addressed in the course of the article.

 

Google Maps and the API key

With the new structure of Google Maps, Google has cleaned up the service. 18 different APIs became three. These relate to the areas Maps, Routes and Places. The term API describes an interface to an application. In this case to Google Maps. The card information can be accessed using the API.

Google requires every website operator who uses Google Maps to store a valid API key.2 The following section explains how to create an API key. First you need to log into your Google account. Then go to https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/. There you have the option in the upper right corner start now to click. This also works with a click on the button in the picture.

 

Then a window opens in which the product (here Maps) is selected.

 

Then the respective project is clicked and the process is continued.

 

You will now be forwarded to the billing account. If you do not already have a billing account, you will be notified and follow the instructions. You have to enter your credit card details. It is then possible to request the API key. You can then use the API key. Of course we are happy to help you with the integration into your website.

 

If Google Maps is used without an API key, a map will still be displayed, but with a lower resolution. In addition, the entire map is watermarked. Before the switch, there were two versions of Google Maps (Standard and Premium). The standard users now have to store an API key. Not much will change for the premium users. The current contract ends and usage-based payment takes effect.3

 

What does it cost me to use it?

Of course, the major concern of many website owners is that they will incur additional costs as a result of the switch. In theory, every API call costs a Google Maps map. However, Google offers every website owner $ 200 monthly credit. Only when this is used up does it cost. According to Google, that $ 200 is enough for up to 28,000 loads of dynamic cards or 100,000 of static cards.4 Dynamic maps offer more functions than static maps (e.g. additional information on the marker point).

With up to 100,000 visits, Google calculates $ 2 for static and $ 14 for dynamic maps per 1,000 visits. A website with an embedded static map and 150,000 visits per month would result in the following costs:

(150,000 / 1,000) * $ 2 = $ 300 from these, the $ 200 monthly credit is deducted, leaving costs of $ 100.

The figures show that in practice it does not cause any additional costs for most customers. To do this, the page with the corresponding card must be called up over 100,000 or 28,000 times per month. It is important to mention that the maximum number of daily calls can be limited.

 

Should i pay? Are there alternatives?

Of course, Google isn't the only provider of maps. However, free variants are rare. OpenStreetMap is a no-cost alternative. The problem here is that the map data is collected by the community and there is no guarantee of completeness. When using it, it must be ensured that all important points are also displayed by the service.

Furthermore, other providers have been using a price model similar to Google Maps for a long time. Mapbox or here offer a certain number of daily or monthly free views until you are asked to checkout.

 

providersFree callsPrice per 1,000 views
Mapbox50.0000,50 $
here250.0001 $
Google Maps100.0002 $

 

In addition to the payment option, Google Maps offers the option of placing maps on the website using an iFrame. This means that only a marker with the corresponding location is placed on the map, but free of charge. The problem with this variant is that the map cannot be further adjusted (e.g. additional markers or fewer controls on the map).

 

Data protection and Google Maps - what must be considered?

The GDPR debate naturally also affects Google Maps. By integrating Google Maps, data is sent to Google in the background. In doing so, personal data of the visitor is transmitted. The user of the website would have to agree to the data transfer so that it is GDPR-compliant. A recommendation is therefore to integrate Google Maps using a so-called two-click solution. This requires the consent of the user. Only then is the card loaded and the data transmitted. Since there have not yet been any rulings in the Google Maps case, this solution is only a suggestion and not a must. An alternative to this is to integrate the map section as an image into the website. This bypasses the transmission of personal data to third-party providers. In addition, following the judgment of the ECJ of October 1, 2019, greater attention should be paid to data protection. This applies above all to cookies that are set. Consent can be obtained from the user via a cookie banner. More on this in our article.

An example of how customers deal with the two-click solution can be found at www.sigmund-lindner.com.

 

Conclusion

Even with the change in the price model, there is no getting around Google Maps. Projects in which the maps from Google are used must be checked whether an API key is stored. Otherwise, website operators should not incur any additional costs, as 28,000 or 100,000 free views per month are a good cushion. If you are not sure how many API requests are sent or you need an alternative to the static or dynamic maps, contact us and we will take care of your request.

1 https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/
2 https://www.googlewatchblog.de/2018/05/google-maps-platform-neue/
3 https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/account-changes/
4 https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/pricing/sheet/