According to the BBC, Google plans to start charging developers for access to their Maps API starting January 1st, 2012. The company will seek out developers and websites that break the limit of 25,000 hits per day – which is actually a number that will be hard to go over. Developers who exceed this limit will be asked to pay $4 per 1,000 views. Google says that this action “will only affect 0.35% of users,” so don’t be too worried about it.
Thor Mitchell, product manager of Google’s Maps API, gave this statement on the topic:
We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning. However, with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable.