US: Google announced that it will charge those websites that are sending over 25,000 daily enquiries to Google Maps through its API service. From January 1, 2012, Google will charge USD 4 per 1,000 over the 25,000 a day allowance. Experts calculate that it will only affect 0.35 percent users.
It is clear that Google wants to make Google Maps a profitable service, rather than a free to use service. A large number of websites use Google Maps as an integral part of their service. Those websites that will be most affected are hotel review sites, travel companies and other location based services.
Thor Mitchell, product manager of Google Maps API said, “We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning. With the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable.”
Google Maps was originally designed by a pair of Danish brothers, Lars and Jens Rasmussen whilst they were working for an Australian firm, Where 2 Technologies. The technology was purchased by Google in 2004.