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Google Maps Platform New Billing Changes

     
7:55 pm on May 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have been trying to understand the billing for Google Maps APIs. The documentation for their June 11th price change really doesn't help me understand my situation. I'm trying to understand how their $200 monthly credit works with all my projects.

I maintain several websites in a Google Maps Platform under different projects, one project per website. I have around 10-12 projects. They all mainly use Google Maps Javascript API. I'm trying to understand how the usage works out when getting charged.

Would I get charged for the usage over the free quota in each project individually or do I get charged for all the usage over the free quota for all the projects in my account?
9:30 pm on May 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you don't have a key for your websites (in other words, they were grandfathered in like with many of us older webmasters) then you anyway have to register a key for them before June.

This is done on the Cloud Platform Console where you will see all of your projects which use Google assets which need a key.

The free usage applies to the total under your account on the Cloud Platform.
10:23 pm on May 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@stever thanks for responding. I have had API keys setup for each website. Each website is in its own project with its own API key. I was really wondering if the usage is calculated in total for all projects or is each project usage charged separately? The new pricing sheet [cloud.google.com] now says "Up to 28,000 loads" a month for Dynamic Maps. Does that mean each project can only use 28,000 map loads a month or all projects(website using keys) can only use 28,000 map loads a month as a combined total.

Website 1 - API key usage - 29,000/Month
Website 2 - API key usage - 40,000/Month
Website 3 - API key usage - 50,000/Month
Website 3 - API key usage - 10,000/Month
7:03 am on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you have API keys for the different projects you should have received a mail from Google estimating the cost for the individual project, based on prior usage.

Since most of mine were grandfathered in with no API key, I just received one mail for one project, plus the general update mail.

I agree they are being particularly obscure about the usage quota. Most of the information currently available refers to quota per project (or key) but that is mostly referring to the previous version and, judging by the quotes from Google managers, the general tone of the marketing and previous history with free things going to paid, I suspect very much that it will be cloud account based (in other words, per individual developer).

(Of course, this is going to be interesting when the maps set up by web developers for former clients with - at that time - no mention of an API key from Google stop working.)
7:17 am on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Added: actually, trying to parse the various bits of information it looks like the following is how they are implementing it.

Free quota is applied per project. Once quota is exceeded, charges start to accumulate ($4 per additional 1,000 is a figure I saw in an article somewhere).

Each developer (not project) gets $200 free usage per month.

So, as far as I understand it, you can have as many projects as you wish. If any of them exceed their free usage quota, then they start accumulating charges.

Once the charges incurred by all developer projects add up to $200 then the credit card starts getting billed for any excess.
1:04 pm on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@stever that makes sense. Thank you very much. Their pricing table is very obscure about the usage quota. The email I received was very hard to understand. Under each of most of my projects it said they same thing.

Based on your current usage over the last 3 months and our new pricing plan, we estimate that your cost will exceed the current $200 free tier.

As an incentive, we are offering you a one time promotional coupon of $50.00. To activate this coupon, you must enable billing and load this coupon to your account before June 11th.


It would make sense if each project is charged after usage is exceeded and then $200 credit is deducted from the grand total of all extra usage charges accumulated from all projects after they surpassed their free tier in usage.
1:18 pm on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For information, I received an official reply to a support question to Google Cloud Support:

Q. First, I understand that there is a quota usage limit per month. Is this limit per
project or per billing account (i.e. all the projects in the account)?
A. It is per billing account, regardless of number of API keys or projects in it.

Q.Secondly, how does the $200 'free' usage work?

This answer was a bit more complicated, but essentially the Google Maps $200 'free' usage is a notional amount which equates to a number of free loads (which varies depending on what is being used). In our case, for example, we would have up to 28,000 loads of Dynamic Maps per month. Then there is a rate for up to 100,000 (in our case, $7 a thousand) and a rate for over 100,000 (in our case, $5.60 per thousand).

So, to take your example of 129,000 loads a month, assuming they are all Dynamic Maps.
28,000 would be free
100,000 would be charged at $7 per 1,000 = $700
1,000 would be charged at $5.60 per 1,000 = $5.60
Your total cost in that case would be $705.60 per month.

The link for maps pricing is here:
[cloud.google.com...]

He also discussed something called 'gap credits' where they had measured an account's usage for a 24-hour period and would use that usage as a standard for the next two months after June to allow businesses to transition to the new structure.

In other words, if you had 3,000 loads in that period, you would have ca. 90,000 loads which would not be charged for the two months following the introduction of the new pricing.

One of the friendliest and most informative support answers I've had from anywhere, to be fair to Google.
5:13 pm on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@stever thank you for sharing your response from Google. I also sent them questions last night but haven't heard back yet.
Q. First, I understand that there is a quota usage limit per month. Is this limit per
project or per billing account (i.e. all the projects in the account)?
A. It is per billing account, regardless of number of API keys or projects in it.

This question is the one that has concerned myself. For me I have multiple projects with separate google maps Javascript API keys. All my projects are linked to the same Billing account.

Thats what was really confusing me. If I have 3 projects and each project gets about 30,000 requests each in a month. Would I get billed for 90,000 request minus the 28k free. Basically I would get billed for 62,000 request over the limit.

62,000 request billed

62,000/1000 = 62
62 x $7 = $434

Or

If I have 3 projects and each gets 30,000/month, would i get billed separately for each project that went over 28k.

Project 1 - 30,000-28,000 = 2,000
Project 2 - 30,000-28,000 = 2,000
Project 3 - 30,000-28,000 = 2,000

6,000 request billed
6000/1000 = 6
6 X $7 = $42

So I guess it is Example #1 then based on the answers you got from them. Wow, what a price increase. Anyways, thanks for helping me understand.
5:44 pm on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@kelsheikh

I think it is very simple. You must not think in terms of free requests. Just calculate all requests, for all types for all projects under your billing account and you must pay everything >$200. Or you can say you get a monthly $200 discount.
7:47 pm on May 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Not quite.

The free amounts are practically equivalent to $200 per month, that's true. But they get taken off and only then do they start counting the 100,000 higher per load amount. So to transition to the lower per 1,000 amount you would need, in the case of Dynamic Maps, 128,000+ loads (equating to a monthly bill of $700+).
5:41 pm on May 22, 2018 (gmt 0)

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More of a rant than anything, but the interface for adding sites and getting API keys is one of the most user-unfriendly interfaces that it has been my misfortune to come across.

I realise that the whole of Google APIs and Cloud Platform interface help documentation is probably available to take a few weeks to read through and comprehend but I get lost and I have half a clue what I am doing. Imagine a non-programmer website owner with a simple map on their site who wants to get an API key for it to keep it working.

The interface sends you, without apparent rhyme or reason, between the developer console and the cloud platform console, with unexplained steps that you need to take before you move to the next stage and an interface that leaves you questioning your sanity as you try to get out of IAM or APIs or billing. Although effectively it is a web shop, the designers would be sacked in minutes if they tried to pull this kind of stuff with a proper e-commerce application.

Added to this: project creation allocates you an project ID which it then (maybe) will tell you 10 minutes later is an invalid ID (but there is no way to change an ID so you have to apply to delete the project).
API enablement hangs with the much-loved spinning wheel with no way to stop the process apart from closing down the page
Apparently there is a limit to the number of projects on each billing account so you have to set up a new one after five
and finally the server comes up with an error message saying they have problems at their end

You would think that the allegedly superior beings at GHQ would come up with a simple version of:
Tell us which website you want to register for maps
OK here is your key and here is how you implement it
Before it works you need to set up a billing account - here is how you do it
You can also control how much your maps uses - here is how you do it
OK, it all seems in order, do you need to add any other websites or apps?
*repeat as needed*

Instead we are confronted with a menu of developer apps and options which most will never even look at.

Bah humbug.
6:53 am on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just to resurrect this thread and notify other members:

I just got whacked for an unexpected few hundred dollars for last month's usage* because as well as using Google Maps Javascript API (which I expected) I was also charged the same number of views for Google Maps and Street View API (which I had not expected).

This is a new API classification which covers the use of dynamic maps, street view panoramas and directions. I had not signed up for this API but note that almost all Google Maps js implementations include a street view symbol by default unless it is deliberately disabled.

Dynamic street views are charged at double the rate of normal map views (14.00 USD per 1000 as opposed to 7,00 USD).

If you have, as I do, a number of sites which use Google Maps it can be difficult to track which site is using a particular key and/or billing account and causing the usage. I have a couple of suspects, however, and I am planning to eliminate the Street View control on those sites to test usage and charging for the rest of this month.

(For those interested it involves adding 'streetViewControl: false,' before the mapTypeId line.)

* To be fair, the views were a lot higher because a major European city managed to go to sleep on a particular annual event and boosted me to #1 in the results...
7:15 am on Sept 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the update stever.

I can see how that would soon start costing quite a bit, and annoying it's not easy to see which site. Seems like that's something Google needs to address.

Removing the street view is a good suggestion, especially for those businesses that don't need people to find their location.
 

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