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Here’s a weird one, I was approached by Robert Harm – maker of Maps Marker Pro (you can read my Maps Marker Pro Review here) regarding the new Google Maps Changes. I thought it could be interesting for users of various WordPress plugins, so I’ve modified his post slightly to take a look at these changes:-

The Price Increase

The main price changes has occurred and detailed here. The main changes are the following:-

  • Map calls: The free amount of 25.000 free map calls per day has been reduced to 28.000 calls per month. The price for an additional 1000 calls has been increased from 0.5 USD to 7 USD.
  • Geocoding: There are no more free calls, there are minimum transactions fees – for more details please see https://www.mapsmarker.com/docs/geocoding/google-geocoding/). Your $200 monthly credit from Google is also valid for geocoding services.

You have to sign up to Google Maps Platform to use the new $200 free monthly credit. A full FAQ is provided by Maps Marker Pro here.

Switching to OpenStreetMap

There are alternatives to Google’s platform. One such place is OpenStreetMap. This is a free and open source alternative to Google Maps that offers many of the similar features. For the users of Maps Marker Pro, there is a comprehensive Geo-CMS that comes with a free basemap by OpenStreetMap and free geocoding ready-to-use as you get started. Maps Marker Pro also makes it easy to switch your project to OpenStreetMap with just a few clicks (see here), and you don’t lose any of your settings and data.

Changes for WP Taxi Me

Of course, one of my plugins – WP Taxi Me – uses Google Geocoding for my site. Here’s what I’ve done, which is detailed on the WP Taxi Me 2.3 release post:-

  • Switched to Mapbox for the new geolocation tools.
  • Documented the changes on the WP Taxi Me Documentation page.
  • (Coming Soon) allowing users to still use Google Maps and adding an API Key should they wish.

Overall, if you run a plugin, you need to be aware of this change, but there’s plenty of options available. I like the Mapbox solution, others like OpenStreetMap are available. I hope you were able to find this useful.

 
 
 

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