Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) updated the terms of its Maps API in an effort to encourage greater usage within mobile applications, especially with location-aware technologies becoming more ubiquitous. Google states that developers are now permitted to use the Static Maps API outside of a web browser, enabling the addition of thumbnail maps to mobile apps provided the map image is linked to Google Maps. Another change: Developers selling premium apps via Android Market and other mobile software storefronts no longer require a Google Maps API Premier license, bringing the terms of the web-based Maps APIs in line with the Android Maps API and iOS SDK.
"To ensure that we can continue to offer the Maps APIs to developers for free, we now require that any new Maps API applications going forward display any advertising delivered in the maps imagery, unless the site concerned has a Google Maps API Premier license," writes Google Maps API product manager Thor Mitchell on the Google Geo Developers Blog. "The opt-out from displaying such advertising that was offered in earlier versions of the Terms will continue to apply to any existing Maps API applications. Information on exercising this right of opt-out will be provided on this blog at least 90 days prior to the launch of any such advertising."
Mitchell adds that Google is introducing transaction limits on the number of maps that may be generated per day by commercial Maps API websites or applications, effective Oct. 1, 2011. Commercial sites that exceed these limits may be required to purchase additional transactions or a Maps API Premier license. Not-for-profit applications and apps Google deems are in the public interest are not subject to these limits.
- read this Google Geo Developers Blog entry
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