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Will the Google Maps Changes Impact Your WordPress Site?

If you have your office locations displayed on your WordPress site it’s more than likely that you use Google Maps to achieve a clean, crisp solution, but did you know Google have announced huge changes to the Google Maps API Platform?

The service will be known simply as Google Maps Platform from June 11th and this relaunch brings with it a suite of changes, some of which have been more welcomed by site owners than others.

The aim of the relaunch is to streamline the Google Maps developer services and merge the current eighteen Google Maps APIs into just three: Maps, Routes and Places. To keep things simple, Google have confirmed that any existing code will continue as usual and won’t be interrupted by these API changes (providing users meet the guidelines below).

However, it’s important to note that Google are changing their pricing structure for API access. All Google Maps developers will now need to hold a valid API key and have an active Google Cloud Platform billing account. Currently both Standard and Premium plans exist but, as of June 11th, a single pricing plan is being offered that includes free support access and $200/month of free usage. Enterprise users will continue to be offered bespoke packages upon application.

What many customers are wondering is what happens if you exceed the $200/month free usage limit and what will happen to existing Google Maps functionality if developers haven’t adhered to the new requirements?

When it comes to exceeding the free usage, Google have released details of the upcoming billing for the Google Maps Platform over on the GMP Documentation hub.

And this is what Google confirm will happen if developers do not have an active API key and Google Cloud Platform billing account by the time the changes are introduced:

‘In June 2016 we announced that we would stop supporting keyless usage, meaning any request that doesn’t include an API key or Client ID. This will go into effect on June 11th, and keyless access will no longer be supported. At that time, keyless calls to the Maps JavaScript API and Street View API will return low-resolution maps watermarked with “for development purposes only.” Keyless calls to any of the following APIs will return an error: Maps Static API (including Static Street View), Directions API, Distance Matrix API, Geocoding API, Geolocation API, Places API, Roads API, and Time Zone API.’

There are still a few days until the changes are implemented, so we urge anybody using Google Maps on their websites to ensure that the correct procedures have been undertaken to make sure you have a seamless transition to the new Google Maps Platform come June 11th.