Google Maps licensing explained

If you choose to use Google Maps with your store locator, Stockist powers the map and search in your store locator using a Google Maps license key provided by you.

How Google Maps licensing works

It's important to note that  Google Maps services aren't licensed to you by us (Stockist), they're provided directly to your website by Google using a license key which you get from Google.

Google offers a free tier of map usage for each website, which is enough for around 10,000 visits to your store locator page per month. (The exact number varies depending on the settings you choose and how your website's visitors use your locator.)  99% of Stockist clients use less than the free limit, so for most Stockist clients there are no additional fees and nothing to worry about. However, if your store locator is especially popular and exceeds the limit, Google will charge any map usage overages directly to the site owner.

By taking advantage of the free monthly usage that Google provides to each site, we don't need to bundle the cost of map usage into our plans, which allows us to offer competitive prices.

If you're concerned about the possibility of extra charges, consider using Mapbox instead. Mapbox offers a very similar free tier to Google Maps, but is less expensive once the free limit is exceeded.

How Stockist uses Google Maps services

Google's map platform includes a variety of services. Here's a breakdown of the ones used by Stockist:

Service name What it's used for When it's used
Maps Javascript API Displaying the map on your site 1 use incurred each time a visitor views your store locator page (regardless of the number of searches)
Geocoding API Converting places or addresses into map coordinates (latitude and longitude) 1 use incurred each time a visitor clicks the search button
Places Autocomplete API Displaying address suggestions while typing If you've enabled address suggestions, usage is incurred when a visitor types into the search box and/or chooses an address suggestion (details in the next section)

How Google Maps billing works

Starting June 11th, 2018, Google's billing is based on the combined monthly usage of all services listed above. Google provides a $200 free monthly credit which is deducted from the combined cost of all services used. If your total usage is under $200, Google's mapping service is completely free. If your total usage is over $200 and you have not set a specific quota to limit usage, you may be charged for the additional usage over $200.

As of October 2021, here is Google's current pricing for the services used by Stockist:

Service name Cost per 1,000 uses
Maps Javascript API ("Dynamic maps") $7.00 USD
Geocoding API $5.00 USD
Places Autocomplete API** (per 1000 keystrokes) $2.83 USD
Places Autocomplete API** (per 1000 sessions) $17.00 USD

** The Autocomplete service is charged differently depending on whether the visitor selects a suggestion. If the visitor types in several letters but does not select a suggestion, each keystroke is billed as a "per request" charge. If the visitor selects a suggestion, the suggestion is billed as a "per session" charge and the keystrokes are free.

The most up-to-date price list is available  directly from Google.

How to calculate monthly map service costs

Here's a hypothetical example explaining how costs are calculated. If you estimate that:

  • Your store locator page will be viewed 5,000 times per month (uses Maps JavaScript API)
  • You have address suggestions enabled
  • Each visitor searches for one address by typing it into the locator, and types an average of 5 characters
    • Half of visitors choose an address suggestion (uses Places Autocomplete API "session" charge) 
    • The other half of visitors use the search button (uses Places Autocomplete API "request" charge for each keystroke, then 1 Geocoding API)

Then the costs would be calculated as follows:

Service name Uses Cost per 1,000 uses Total cost
Maps JavaScript API 5,000 $7.00 $35.00
Geocoding API 2,500 $5.00 $12.50
Places Autocomplete API (per session) 2,500 $17.00 $42.50
Places Autocomplete API
(per keystroke)
12,500 $2.83 $35.38
Subtotal $125.38
Google's free credit - $200.00
Total cost $0.00

In this example, since the combined price of Google's map services is under $200, this hypothetical account would not incur any fees from using Google's services.

Tips for reducing costs

If you're concerned you may be near Google's free usage limit, please see our page containing a few tips to reduce your map usage without compromising the functionality of your store locator.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch using the Contact Us link at the top of the page - we're here to help!