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Google Maps pricing changes threaten APRS site

Google Maps pricing changes threaten APRS site

The popular amateur radio APRS tracking site run by Heikki Hannikainen OH7LZB is threatened by changes to the Google Maps pricing model

Heikki Hannikainen OH7LZB writes:

For some time this morning, Google Maps on displayed a pop-up saying “This page can’t load Google Maps correctly”. The map tiles were dark with “For Development Purposes Only” written on them.

This was because of a configuration accident on my part: the profile on Google Cloud console was not properly linked to the correct payments profile which has my credit card attached. That’s now fixed and the maps load fine. For a short while.

Due to the volunteer / charitable / non-profit uses in Amateur Radio circles (SAR, disaster relief, etc) has had a generous free use limit from Google, even after the pricing went up in 2012. With the recent pricing model changes for Google Maps APIs, the free use quota got lost. It was a bit uncertain whether it’ll stay there or not, now it’s obvious it’s gone.

I’m trying to reach out to them and see if it can be reinstated, or if a generous volume discount can be applied. If someone has insider Google contacts who are amateur radio operators, please email me and them in private.

If not, I might be looking at a bill of 4000-5000€ per month, which obviously is something that I can’t do. The billing has now started, and I got a small credit for the transition try-out period, which will last for a few days, and I can pay the bill for a few more days after that.

To reduce the loads a bit, I’ll be disabling the Embedded maps feature right now.

There is a risk that I’ll have to replace Google Maps with something, but it’ll be a development effort which will take quite some time, and the end result might not be quite as smooth; the Maps API has been pretty great.

Source forum!msg/aprsfi/iXm72OZ0ML8/GTfaAXB-CAAJ

Heikki Hannikainen OH7LZB

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