Google won’t charge for heavy use of the Google Earth API

Good news for Google Earth API/Plugin developers who have massive daily visitors. At this time (no promises about the future), Google does not plan to charge for heavy users like they plan for heavy users of the Google Maps API. I got this from asking questions at the Google Developer Day Sydney #gddsyd
I should add that they wanted more people to be aware that only a very small percentage of Maps API users would be getting charged (less than 1%). They also said those who will be charged are applications which reach their limit over an extended period of time (several consecutive days) not just a one day occurrence.
Posted by Frank Taylor

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Frank – this is good news, in the short term, and I am sure users of the API will be grateful to you for pursuing the question.
    But was there any indication that Google’s original (ads based) model for ‘monetising’ its products was failing to deliver to what is after all a commercial enterprise, hence the plan to charge?
    Commentators on the planned charges for heavy use of the Maps API pointed to the fact that there was nothing to stop charges for the Maps API and possibly the GE API eventually ‘sliding’ down the scale towards lower limits of use. So was there any recognition from Google that adverse response might outweigh limited financial return if charging went too far?

  2. Thanks for the info, Frank… now I’m curious, if you want to make a commercial app (i.e., charge for access) using the GE API, do you still have to fork over the $10,000 for the Maps Premier API, even if it’s a Google Earth-only app you’re making?

  3. Great news for developers, all team is happy with this information 🙂

  4. The Google Geo Developers blog has published more details of the limits and charges applying to the Maps API, also confirming no limits or charges for use of the GE API
    reasonably encouraging news …. for the moment … so still interested in any info about Google’s view of future funding for its geographical products.

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