Google Maps APIs and Free Public Access

Websites and applications may use the Google Maps APIs free of charge. However, they must comply with the Google Maps APIs Terms of Service. One of the requirements is that the services provided by the Google Maps APIs must be freely and publicly available to everyone.

This document will answer your questions about what it means for the services to be freely and publicly available, and what to do if you need to restrict access to the services delivered via the Google Maps APIs or charge access for an application that uses the Google Maps APIs.

Why am I seeing this message?

If you see the following message, it means that Google has disabled the site's access to the Google Maps APIs, because the services provided by the Google Maps APIs on the site are not freely and publicly available:

This website appears to violate the Google Maps API Terms of Service.
The Google Maps API has been disabled for this website.
Error Code: TOSViolationMapError

Section 9.1 of the Google Maps APIs Terms of Service states that the services provided by the Google Maps APIs must be free and publicly accessible.

What does it mean to be 'free'?

A Google Maps APIs implementation must be generally accessible to users without charge and must not require a fee-based subscription or other fee-based restricted access. If you request payment in return for access to an application that uses the Google Maps APIs, you need a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license.

Note that mobile apps sold through an app store can be sold for a fee. However, if you charge a subscription for your app, you need a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license.

What does 'public accessibility' mean?

A Google Maps APIs implementation must not operate only behind a firewall, only on a password-protected site, or only on an internal network (except during the development and testing phase), or in a closed community (for example, through invitation-only access).

Is this a change to the Google Maps APIs Terms of Service?

No, this is not a change to the Google Maps APIs Terms of Service. Internal use, or paid usage without a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license, has always been against the terms.

I'm using the Google Maps APIs services from a third-party provider. What should I do?

If you are viewing a website provided by a third party, contact the website owner and explain the problem.

If you have purchased the website, a connector, or code from a third party, then you may need to purchase a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license directly to access the services.

How can I use the services provided by the Google Maps APIs on a restricted-access website?

If you need to restrict access to the services provided by the Google Maps APIs, you will need to purchase a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license.

What should I do if I need to charge a fee for access to the services provided by the Google Maps APIs?

You will need to purchase a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license.

What does a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license include?

A Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license includes a number of additional features not available to other customers, including enterprise-level technical support, an SLA (Service Level Agreement), and additional features such as higher daily geocoding limits.

How do I purchase a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license?

Complete this form and a member of the sales team will contact you with additional information.

How do I stop this message from appearing on my page?

When you purchase a Google Maps APIs Premium Plan license, you will receive a client ID that you can include in the API request. This will prevent the error message from appearing. For help on adding your client ID to the API request, please refer to the developer's guide for the relevant API. For example, see authentication for the Google Maps JavaScript API and for the Google Static Maps API.

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