Mobile Apps Affected by Possible Google Maps Access Fee Starting in 2012?

A lot of mobile apps depend on Google Maps for displaying maps with all kinds of different information. The screenshot here, for example, is WeatherBug for Android’s weather map. For the most part, most of these commercial and non-commercial uses of Google Maps by third parties fell under Google’s free Terms of Service policy. The BBC News reports that some of Google will introduce a fee, under certain conditions, for using Google Maps starting January 1, 2012. This may impact a lot of the apps many of us use daily if this fee is extended to apps as well as websites.

Google Maps to charge for usage

Developers will be able to use up to 25,000 map hits per day for free. However, BBC repeats a rumor that a charge of $4 will be applied for every 1,000 map hits after that number. This can add up to a significant bit of change for an app heavily dependent on Google Map displays. If, for example, an app hits Google Maps 1,000,025 times a day, the daily fee will be $4,000. That’s $120,000 in a 30-day long month.