From Programmable Web:
This post discusses an announcement that some high volume users of the Google Maps API will begin to have to pay for access after certain quotas are reached.
It’s likely that most users (including individual libraries) that use the Google Maps API will not have to worry about the fees (at least for now) but it does raise questions about the future of free Google services not only for Google Maps API users but for other services.
- Will the prices and limits announced to become effective in early 2012 remain the same forever? Will prices rise and quotas be lowered so more will have to pay?
- If quotas change and costs rise will Google offer a way for libraries, schools, museums, etc. to have a reduced fee structure or perhaps waive the fees?
In May, Google said they were getting rid of the Google Translate API. Then, in June and after a lot of outcry from developers, the company announced that the Translate API would return for a fee. We learned more in August.
So, while this nothing to worry about today, you have to wonder if we’re going to see more of this moving forward. Is this the beginning of a trend?
As we’ve said MANY times over the years, Google is a company that wants/needs to make profits to satisfy their shareholders. It’s not the same company it was not that when they began providing many of these services.
The good news is that no matter what Google does there are and will be others offering similar services that could even work better. The challenge is knowing about and becoming familiar with what they provide. This knowledge can make you more marketable, valuable, and even a better researcher/searcher.