New Google Maps service policy

This year on May 2nd, the world’s biggest geospatial service provider Google, 13 years after the release of Google Maps, plan on unveiling their new Google Maps Platform. This new platform will contain all previous services along with their new services (API). Earlier, there were 18 different map and data services, and those will now be contained in three basic products (Maps, Routes, Places). The new generation of Google Maps also announced changes in pricing policy that will be significantly. These new prices will come into effect July 16th. (https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/pricing-changes/)

As Google mentioned, the new pricing policy’s goal is to simplify it by replacing the different Standard or Premium plans. The new policy states products will be used more as a “pay-as you go” principle and one will pay for the services they use, instead of fully buying a license.

Google will offer free services up to $200 USD per month, along with the option to use unlimited basic mobile mapping and in embedded form. In turn, for more services one will have to pay a certain fee for each service they want to use. For example, if daily free mapping services had around 25 000 users daily, then with the new services only 28 000 per month will be available instead. For Bigger clients, pricing will be determined by what goods and services they want to use, and the quantity of users: those over 100 000, each request will cost less, along with that, is the service requests are over 500 000, the individuals will have to decide on a price themselves. Regardless of whether the amount will exceed or will not exceed $200 dollars, users will need to register a credit or debit card. Prices of many services vary, as do the levels of services. For example, if earlier the advanced embed mapping license cost 0,5 USD for 1000 requests (750 000 free requests was the previous free limit), now the price will raise to $14 USD for 1000 requests (free request limit is 14 000).

Many geospatial companies outside of the United States expressed concerns about their ability to pay off growing bills and many plan on changing their geospatial service provider. Some project expenses that were currently around 10 000 USD could eventually grow to over 200 000.

Latvia has similar geospatial platforms- base map WMS services, and other data services, like routing, addressing, place and object searching services provided by “Karšu izdevniecība Jāņa sēta” (www.kartes.lv).