If your website has an embedded Google Map to provide something like an interactive map with location markers, then you’re probably already aware that Google has been making changes to enable them to charge you for using this service.
If you’re a not-for-profit organisation you should be able to register for Google Maps Platform credit, enabling you to continue using the service for free.
Google Maps changes
Until recently, website developers could make use of the Google Maps API to provide interactive maps for their clients with no associated ongoing costs. A few months ago Google contacted developers and website owners letting us all know that websites need an API key to continue using Google Maps, and we’d need to give them credit card details too.
From the end of November this year, if you exceed the free usage limits, Google will begin charging you for using their Maps service.
Many websites probably don’t get enough hits to exceed the free limit, or don’t do anything particularly fancy with Google Maps.
But, if your website has something like a map with lots of location markers, or your website gets lots of visits per day, then you might get hit with monthly fees.
Google Maps Platform credit
For not-for-profit organisations, the Google for Nonprofits program gives you access to lots of great tools and services for free.
You might already have a Google for Nonprofits account. If not, Google uses ConnectingUp to verify Australian not-for-profit organisation are eligible. Basically, you need to provide Google with a “TechSoup token” and ConnectingUp will provide you with this.
If you don’t have a ConnectingUp account, it’s well worth doing anyway because of all the great offers, discounts and information they give to Australian not-for-profits.
Where to start?
The best place to start is to head over the Enrol in Google Maps Platform credit page to find out more and get started.
If you’re eligible for Google Maps Platform credit, once you’ve signed up you’ll probably need to get yourself an API key for your website maps to use. Your web developer should be able to advise on exactly what you need and how to go about switching to your new API key, which should be as simple as copying and pasting a bit of text into your website.