Google Maps API key

Any ideas regarding Google requiring a credit card to get an API to use Google Maps on your site…

@luppe, Wow never heard of this and I’m going to say steer clear! I know Google wants a lot from us but Google Maps and a credit card isn’t one of them!

Have you gone via Sparkle to attain an API Key? When you place a map element and assign the Map type as “Advanced Map” you’ll see further down the column “Get Key”… just follow that and I’m sure it will work out for you.

The “Get Key” button in Sparkle just leads you to the Google website (Google Maps Platform) where you have to sign in and then a credit card is required!

So there is no possibility to get an API key without using a credit card.

Because of that I went back to using only the “Basic Map” in Sparkle. I don’t want to share my credit card details with Google either …

Ok, I’m a bit shocked! 3-4 months ago it was still all free! So Google has made sure that we have come so reliant on their Map that now they are going to get their return on it!

It looks like they need ones credit card against the account so when you exceed the free $200/month credit then they can debit you! I’m imagining it is a precursor to a map subscription sooner than later! :frowning:

Hey @luppe, have you upgraded to 2.8? :slight_smile:

In 2.8 we added a key-less maps option.

About the advanced setup that requires an API key, Google added the need for an API key on some of the map features.

Until June 2018 Google had a limit on how much key usage you could have, and would completely block the map when the usage was reached. Some features could also be used without using a key, and they would track usage per site or per IP address.

After June 2018 they enforced the use of keys on all services, and instead of blocking when the limit was reached, they required adding a payment method (credit card), but with a similar “free tier” as before, so up to $200 per month of usage are free, and after that they just start charging the payment method. Not entering a payment method blocks all features even if you never would reach the $200/month.

To me it sounds like a “services revenue” thing that’s common in silicon valley companies these days.

But there really isn’t a real working alternative to google maps.


@Duncan, So if we use the API Key from now on would you recommend to us that our clients set up their own account against their credit card?

Yes, if you don’t do that all sites count against your $200/month free limit, whereas each client has their own $200/month free usage if they have their own API key and credit card.

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The “Basic Map” option in Sparkle 2.8 is great. I was so relieved to see that option.
For most of my clients’ websites, the basic map is more than enough, thankfully.

Just hoping Google doesn’t take it away :crossed_fingers:

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:crossed_fingers: Indeed! :pray:

I have had reasonable success with Leaflet for Open Street Map. I had some old client sites in Freeway that stopped working and there is a Freeway action that uses Leaflet. Have also managed to get it to work on a Wordpress site.

Welcome @wrathweb
Thank you for the tip. Open Street Map looks very interesting. I didn’t know about it. I may use (embed) this for smaller projects instead of using Google Maps.

Yes there are many ways to embed openstreetmaps, the problem is usually the tile provider is really slow, or not free.

Yes, it looks like it works thankfully…missing the ability to customise with colours though…

You can customize colors, but that requires API key and credit card.

Thx Duncan. Guess we have to cope with not changing colors…