Search engine giant Google has shocked everyone by announcing that it plans to charge money for the use of its Google Maps API.
The Google Maps API is an extremely popular tool used by multiple websites, including those belonging to real-estate and travel, to pin-point the location of a property or place.
Now, according to an article on BBC, Google plans to make money from the popularity of the API by charging heavy users.
Starting January 1, 2012, websites which receive more than 25,000 Maps view in a single day, will have to pay $4 for every 1,000 views after the 25,000 limit is surpassed. Google claims that the pricing will only affect 0.35% of Map users.
The company said that it knows that developers would require time to see whether the new policy affects them or not and if it does, by how much. That is why it has chosen to give a two month's advance notice.
"We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning," said Thor Mitchell, product manager of the Maps API at Google.
"However, with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable", he added.