Google Maps Changes and How This Will Impact Your Business Website

Google Maps Changes and How This Will Impact Your Business Website

Since 2007 Google allowed you to embed their maps feature onto your own site using its embed code snippets. But recently Google announced that whilst its maps will still work as they had done previously and retain all of its functionality – when embedding a Google map, you will be required to use an API key.

Failure to undertake the required update will result in your website users encountering the likes of this error:

googlemaps_error

The Problem

“As of June 22, 2016 we are making the following changes to the Google Maps APIs Standard Plan: We no longer support keyless access (any request that doesn’t include an API key). Future product updates are only available for requests made with an API key. API keys allow us to contact developers when required and help us identify misbehaving implementations.”

Thankfully Google have allowed 90 day period – from the 22nd of June 2016 – where their API will work up until without a key. But after the 20 of September 2016 – if the embedded map was not created before the 22nd of June 2016 – it will cease to work.

Impact on Maps Plugins

If you’re using a plugin for a CMS or website builder its likely that these fixes will be amended into an update. These new settings will allows you to easily enter a given API key which will then be automatically added to the appropriate area in your website’s JavaScript code. If you’re using in-built map functionality you’ll likely be able to benefit from these features but any map created via an HTML item will need to go through the manual process.

Restrictions on Usage

Google has also introduced two new restrictions on the use of their API:

“We have implemented a simple 25,000 map loads per day free limit to new Google Maps JavaScript API, Static Maps API, and Street View Image API implementations”

“We have reduced the daily map load maximum limit you can purchase for Google Maps JavaScript API, Static Maps API, and Street View Image API from 1,000,000 to 100,000 requests per API.* We believe higher-volume developers are best served with a Premium Plan license, which includes technical support and a Service Level Agreement, and with this change we’ve also created consistency between Standard Plan quotas across our maps and web service APIs.”

The SME’s out there with a couple of thousand website hits a month have nothing to fear from this change as these will only have bearing on larger websites. Although as Google Maps becomes ever more integral and integrated onto sites, who knows if this monetisation approach will trickle down to the lower end users?

Useful Links

Andrew Collins