Google Maps has long been a developer platform where third-parties can build off Google’s location services and data. Today, Google is launching its “next generation” version, beginning with a new name for the simplified service, as well as new use cases.
From 18 individual APIs, there are now three core products as part of the Google Maps Platform: Maps, Routines, and Places. This consolidation is intended to make it easier to “find, explore and add new features” to apps, with existing code continuing to work.
On the pricing front, there is now one pay-as-go plan that merges the previous Standard and Premium options, while providing free customer support to all users. Additionally, products are now integrated with the Google Cloud Platform Console for easier management.
With this new plan, developers will receive the first $200 of monthly usage for free. We estimate that most of you will have monthly usage that will keep you within this free tier. With this new pricing plan you’ll pay only for the services you use each month with no annual, up-front commitments, termination fees or usage limits.
Similar to how Google launched an API to power real-world gaming in March, the latest is aimed at ridesharing and asset tracking services. This allows the likes of Lyft and Uber to create better, more optimized experiences for drivers and customers.
Ridesharing companies can embed the Google Maps navigation experience directly into their apps to optimize the driver and customer experience. Our asset tracking offering helps businesses improve efficiencies by locating vehicles and assets in real-time, visualizing where assets have traveled, and routing vehicles with complex trips.
These changes come into effect starting June 11.
Beginning June 11, you’ll need a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account to access our core products. Once you enable billing, you will gain access to your $200 of free monthly usage to use for our Maps, Routes, and Places products.