Important update for customers who used Maps JavaScript API services in 2016

The information below explains how customers who were given free usage in 2016 will be impacted by our upcoming changes.

Key points

  • In June 2016, we announced a change to Maps JavaScript API requests. It affected client-side services requests to the Geocoding API, Directions API, Distance Matrix API, Elevation API, and Places API.
  • Existing customers were given free usage to avoid service interruption.
  • Starting on November 29, 2018, we will bill all your usage for Elevation, Directions, Distance Matrix, Geocoding and Places, according to our new pricing plan.
  • Eligible customers will receive 2 months transition credits.

Frequently asked questions

Free usage offered since June 2016

How do I know if I was impacted by the 2016 June announcement?

We sent an email on October 29, 2018, to all customers that were included in the 2016 update. Customers impacted were using the Maps JavaScript services before June 22, 2016.

What are the services that benefited from this free usage?

JavaScript API client-side Geocoding, Directions, Distance Matrix, Elevation, and Places services.

How was my free usage amount determined?

The amount of free usage you were given was based on your maximum daily JavaScript client-side usage (as of June 22, 2016). If your maximum daily usage was smaller than 20,000 requests, you received 25,000 daily requests free usage. If your usage was larger than or equal to 20,000 requests, you received your maximum daily usage plus 25%.

Why was I given free usage?

Google made changes to the Google Maps APIs Standard Plan in June 2016. To avoid service interruption to existing customers, we granted temporary free usage (by domain) based on their usage at that time.

Were customers told about the update in 2016?

An announcement was made on our blog in June 22, 2016, and customers who used the Maps JavaScript API with a key were notified.

Were all pre-June 2016 customers given free usage?

Yes - Any customers who made usage of a Maps JavaScript API service (Geocoding, Directions, ...) within 6 months of the 2016 update, received temporary free usage on the service they were using.

Maps Premium Plan customers did not receive free usage, since the pricing for Premium Plan has always included Maps JavaScript services.

Why is the free usage going away?

Our goal is to make sure everyone is on a simple, consistent, and scalable plan with Google Maps Platform.

When will this free usage start being charged?

We will start charging all requests that were part of this temporary free usage starting November 29, 2018. All eligible customers will receive 2 months of transition credits which will be automatically applied to their billing account (or sub billing account if through a maps reseller).

Where can I see this free usage, and see how much my new bill will be?

We recommend you wait until November 29, when we will start to bill all usage according to our new pricing plan. You will then be able to see all of your billed usage in the Google Cloud Console’s Billing Reports. The temporary free usage will start to be reported and charged against the corresponding SKUs:

Will nonprofit organizations or other organizations be able to get grants for this usage?

Absolutely. We are expanding our non-commercial program for Google Maps Platform. Existing Google for Nonprofit users who are currently receiving Google Maps Platform grants will transition to Google Maps Platform credits.

Eligible nonprofits, startups, crisis response, and news media organizations may apply for additional Google Maps Platform credits through the following programs:

My site or application gets a lot of traffic. Can I receive volume discounts?

If your usage exceeds 500,000 API calls/month on any API, you may benefit from volume based pricing. We recommend working with a Google Maps partner. Please refer to the Pricing Page and Calculator for more details about pricing.

Transition credits

Who will get transition credits?

Eligible customers whose monthly spend exceeds $200 a month, and who will see a price increase related to these changes, will receive transition credits.

What action is needed from me?

If you currently do not have a billing account, please set up a billing account to avoid service interruption. Also, please log in to the console during the transition credit period to understand your new usage. Finally, we strongly recommend reading our optimization guide to make the most out of your Google Maps Platform implementation.

How long will the transition credits last?

The transition credits will start on November 29, 2018 and end on January 29, 2019.

Why is it being applied?

The transition credits will give you two months to understand your new usage and costs, and to optimize your implementation if needed.

How was the transition credit amount calculated?

The transition credit granted is calculated based on the amount of free usage for the month of October or November (whichever is higher). For instance: if your free usage for the month of October and November amounted to $120 and $160 respectively, the amount of transition credit you would receive will equal $160, per month.

The transition credits may not cover 100% of your free usage.

Will I keep my transition credits if I switch billing accounts?

The transition credits are applied to your current billing account as of November 29, 2018. If you switch billing accounts, or associate your project(s) with a different billing account, the transition credits will no longer apply.

What happens with unused transition credits?

Unused transition credits will be forfeited at the end of each month during the transition period: November 30, 2018, December 31, 2018, then January 29, 2019.

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