Back in October 2017, Google changed the terms of service for Google Maps requiring all Maps users to register their credit card details and accept a vastly more limited free usage quota for what was once the industry's most generous free service. If you are interested in reading more about this, this happened around October 2017 and you can see our blog entry around that time if you are interested in reading more about what was changed.
Ever since then this has created somewhat of a cloud of anxiety for our customers and potential customers; would they be charged for using Google Maps and if so, how much? As a result, we created tools like our mapping service cost calculator (https://www.storelocatorwidgets.com/mapcostcalculator) to help our customers (potential or otherwise) assess and evaluate what this pricing change would mean for them and how much they would be impacted by.
To help our high usage customers reduce the impact of this pricing change, we launched integrations with MapBox (June 2018) and OpenStreetMap (October 2018) to our locator and we decided to wrap usage of OpenStreetMap into our locator with a generous 100,000 map loads per month limit included with all plans. We calculated that this free usage would be sufficient for 97% of our customers and thought this would be enough to ease that cloud of anxiety that we talked about earlier.
Well, it still proved to be a concern and indeed we still spend a significant amount of our support time discussing potential charges that could arise from using our service. So, we've decided to wipe out that concern once and for all. As of today and in an industry first, Unlimited usage of our embedded OpenStreetMap service will be included with all plans. We've also grandfathered this change to all of our existing customers.
If you'd like to see how the different mapping service providers look, we've built a mapping service comparison tool here: https://www.storelocatorwidgets.com/mapservicecomparison/Google.