Starting January 1, Google will start charging for its Google Maps service. A Google Map is a handy feature that allows you to plug in the name or type of business ("Starbucks" or "gym," for example) and a map with red pointers pops up showing the names, locations, customer reviews and driving directions of each establishment.
How Much Will Google Charge for Maps?
While hearing about the future charges was initially a shock, it turns out that very few users will actually have to pay a fee. In fact, Google estimates that only about 0.35% of Google Map users will pay anything at all. And even then, the charge for Google Maps is small. The service will remain free for up to 25,000 map hits per day. After that, users will pay $4 for every 1,000 hits in excess of that limit.
Who Will End Up Paying for the Google Map Service?
The charge is aimed primarily at travel firms and real estate agents who rely on Google Maps to map out destination points and itineraries for their clients. These are the groups that stand to profit the most from the mapping service and it makes sense that they would have to subsidize the service to keep it viable in Google's financial books.