Many websites we have created over the years have included a Google Map embedded into the site somewhere, often on the home page, about us, or contact page.
They’re particularly helpful for businesses who have a set location which they want people to know of and come visit. You’ve probably searched up an address for a location or business on Google yourself and used it to guide you to your location.
If you haven’t checked the Google Map on your website in a while we encourage you to do so, and if you are seeing the error as featured in the image below, we know why and we know how to help.
As of 11 June 2018, Google Maps changed its name to Google Maps Platform, and now requires every site featuring a Google Map to have a valid API key and a Google Cloud Platform billing account. Once you enable billing, you will gain access to $200 of free monthly usage to use for our Maps, Routes, and Places products. What this means is that featuring Google Maps on your website is still possible, but you will have to make some modifications to how it is set up, including giving Google your credit card.
- For more information on what has changed, review the API-specific Billing Changes and the guide to understanding billing.
- You can also estimate your monthly bill under the new pricing model with the pricing calculator.
You can read more about the restructuring of Google Maps here.
Without an API key, any sites featuring Google Maps will no longer be supported, and any Maps requests will now show only low-resolution maps watermarked with “for development purposes only” unless there is a credit card associated with it
So, what does this mean for your business?
Fortunately, these changes will not affect your website’s code or structure. However, you will need to update the API key on your site once you’ve enabled credit card billing and received your new registered API key (see guide below or email us on [email protected] if you’d like to engage us to implement this for you).
Another option is to do a screen grab and link it to the google maps page, but this does lose the map’s interactivity on the website which is not as user friendly.
How to Get an API Key
Getting an API key is easy. Start by registering your project in the Google Cloud Platform Console and then generate an API key by following the steps below. If you don’t have a Google account you can see to set one up here. In
- Go to platforms and create a new project
- Create a billing account.
- Go to Google Cloud Platform Console
- Select an existing project created in step 1
- Enable the API by clicking ‘Continue’
- On the ‘Credentials’ page, get an API key
- In the ‘Key Restriction’ section, add required restrictions (optional)
You can then copy this API key or send it to your website developer or The Creative Collective to install for you.
The new pricing structure is pay-as-you-go billed monthly, with no annual or upfront fees, and all customers will receive their first $200 of monthly usage free. According to Google, most customers’ monthly usage will keep them in this tier, so it’s unlikely that the majority of businesses with only a Maps link on their website will pay anything for the new Maps Platform.
To view your billing report once you have enabled credit card billing, go to Google Cloud Platform Console, click on the Maps section, open the left side menu on the console, click ‘Billing’, then select ‘Reports’. You should now see your latest billing report.