Google set to destroy its Maps API by forgetting how Google makes money

I never understood why the hell Google would want to limit requests to any of their APIs.  I’m now even more confused that Google is poised to start charging partners for use of the API under certain circumstances. Developers implementing the API could stand to be charged $4 per 1,00o requests if their app goes over 25,000 requests per day.

To understand my hostility and confusion, let’s break down what Google is and how they make their money. The company wants you to search for things;  they want you to use their products. They hand out free Gmail accounts like candy, because they want people to use it. The reason they want you using their products is because that’s how they make their money. When you are looking at a Google product, you are being shown ads that generate massive amounts of revenue for them.

So here is my question: Why has Google just now started to realize their Maps product is basically charity, and why in the world would they want to charge for its usage instead of just selling ads for it? This seems like the biggest no brainer in the world. In fact, I should probably patent this before writing this article, but for the sake of journalism, I’ll share. (Note, I have a bad ass IP attorney on retainer, so no funny business, hah!).

What are most people doing when they are using the Google Maps API?  If you guessed “getting directions” you are probably right. So one way Google can turn the Maps API into a profit machine is to sell route based ads. Google already knows where every McDonalds is, so why not let McDonalds tell me that on my drive from Boston to Melrose, I am going to pass three McDonalds?

My point is, limiting access to something that could potentially make you money is crazy, but charging the people putting your product in other people’s faces is even more crazy. Google needs to think hard about this one. They are no longer the only map company out there, as Apple made very clear with recent acquisitions. We will go elsewhere.

Before the comments start rolling in about directions only being a portion of the implementations, I don’t see a valid argument here. Any time a map is shown, there is an opportunity to show a local business, or franchise. If the API is being used to show a map that’s no where near you, it can display businesses that are local to that location and ask if you’d like to find similar ones near you.

This will likely go unnoticed by the powers that be at Google. They will begin charging heavy API users starting in 2012. Google defines heavy usage as any APIKey that gets touched more than 25,000 times per day. With 7 billion people now roaming the earth, 25,000 requests is really not much.

It’s time to smarten up dammit!  /rant.

Source: Apple Insider

Josh is the Social Media Director and Sr. Systems Engineer for a startup toy company. He is freakishly into just about anything tech related. When he's not writing, he can be found inventing products at Quirky, or doing 3D renders… Full Bio