An Introduction to the Google Maps Platform

By Jessica Peterson  05/04/2018

In the past 13 years, Google Maps released the Google Maps API to developers. Today, Google announced its plan to introduce what it considers to be the next generation of Google Maps businesses.

The Google Maps Platform merges 18 individual API’s and combines them into 3 core products: Maps, Routes, and Places. The location based features and products are designed to be more simple, easier, and scalable.

Innovation Focused

The Google Maps Platform provides the key building blocks to creating streamlined API products and industry solutions.

In March, Google brought Google Maps into the Unity game engine - allowing developers access to an accurate, living model of the real world. It includes over 100 million 3D buildings, roads, landmarks, and parks spanning across more than 200 countries. Developers are easily able to customize their view through textures and style.

Google Maps is also branching further out into ridesharing as well, embedding the new Google Maps’ navigation directly into applications in order to optimize user experience. Asset tracking helps businesses improve efficiency through locating vehicle and assets in real-time, mapping out previous routes, and routing with complex trips.

The Google Maps Platform allows large projects to scale up without worrying about capacity, reliability, or performance.

The Updated Pricing Plan

The Google Maps Platform is merging its standard and premium packages and creating a pay-as-you-go system for all core products. Devleopers will receive a $200 monthly usage for free. Most projects will fall underneath the $200 usage and qualify for the free tier. The new pricing plan gets rid of annual and up-front commitments with termination fees and usage limits and all products will be integrated within the Google Cloud Platform Console so users can easily manage their products and usage.

By June 11th, you'll need to ensure you have a valid API key and Google Cloud Platform billing account in order to access your products.

To read more about the product and pricing changes and how they may affect you, check out Google’s Guide for Existing Users: https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/

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