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October 31, 2011

Google to charge heavy users for Maps API service

Likely to impact hotel chains, travel firms and big corporations

By CBR Staff Writer

Starting in 1 January 2012, Google will charge businesses that cross a daily hit limit of 25,000 for its Google Maps API service.

However, Google said on its blog that individual users will not be affected by this new fee as it will impact companies with a high usage of Google Maps loads or hits.

Websites such as hotel chains, travel firms and big corporations that use the maps service to direct customers to headquarters, destinations and tourist hotspots are likely to be impacted by the new fee.

The new fee strategy by the search giant follows the recently introduced Google Analytics Premium services which charge a fee to its heavy business users for the service.

The additional revenue from the new so called ‘map tax’ will be utilised by Google to expand and further develop its Google Maps technology.

Google claims the new fee will only affect 0.35% of users. It is reported the online search company is planning to charge $4 per 1,000 views in excess of the daily limit.

In line with Google’s strategy to charge businesses for its map service usage, two other services, AOL’s Mapquest and YahooMaps, have made plans to start charging their heavy users.

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