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Support Meta Box Geolocation New Google maps pricing policy and MB geolocation

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  • #9438
    Resolved poehnix

    according to my understanding, starting June 11th 2018, google maps api users will be forced to give a credit card number to use the service, even if they do not reach the 25.000 hits per day ( free daily rate usage).
    It is not feasable to ask for a client credit card or force him to generate a private api key, so I would like to ask if it's going to be provided a different (free) geolocation service for Metabox geolocation plugin, maybe with the possibility to choose between google maps and the new geolocation provider
    All the info about the subject can be found here https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/

    Thank you

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 25 total)
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  • #9439

    I had wondered about this too.

    Anh, what about supporting OpenStreetMap?

    Anh Tran

    I got an email from Google 2 days ago regarding the same problem. It says that Google still provide free tier for user. The free usage is equivalent to $200 per month. Adding credit card to your billing info will be able to add a coupon to your account that increases the limit to $500 per month.

    I attached the screenshots here so you can see the details:

    Google Maps

    One big note in this announcement is that all fields that don’t have API key won’t work any longer.

    So, I think in short terms, the Google Maps field still works if you already have a API key. However, in long term, we should figure out a better way. I’ll check Open Street Maps to see if we can integrate it.


    Dear Anh thank you for your answer.
    I got the eamil too. Google documentation unfortunately is not clear on pricying. They contradict themselves. You can can check the whole thing here https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/pricing-changes/ but I will highlight the key passages in uppercase

    Question: Can I still use Google Maps Platform for free?
    Answer: Yes. Starting June 11, 2018, WHEN YOU ENABLE BILLING, you get $200 free usage every month for Maps, Routes, or Places. Based on the millions of users using our APIs today, most of them can continue to use Google Maps Platform for free with this credit.

    Question: Can I try Google Maps Platform before deciding to purchase?
    Answer: Yes. We want you to experience the speed, accuracy, and comprehensive coverage of Maps, Routes, and Places. YOU NEED A BILLING ACCOUNT TO START, but your first $200 of monthly usage is free, and you can set usage caps to ensure you don’t go over this amount.


    Question: Is a credit card or billing account required?
    Answer:Even though your first $200 of monthly usage is free, all Google Cloud Platform services require a credit card and billing account, to cover any amount you spend over this free credit. If you are billed, we'll credit your account for the first $200 of monthly usage. If you choose not to add a billing account, there is a risk that if your usage exceeds $200 in a given month, your Maps API implementation will be degraded or other API requests will return an error. If your estimated usage will be above $200 a month and you don't have a credit or debit card to set up a billing account, a local Google Maps Partner may be able to help.

    The first sentence says a credit card is compulsory. The second sentence says you have a choice.

    According to my understanding Google says it's up to his grace to let your keys function and who, when and for how long continue to support any single key.
    The main reason for this is that stopping all the free services for all at the single time will mahe google loose potential customer. Probably they will "kill" keys that generate a fair amount of traffic saying "Hey, I told you I would have done this", leaving all the low traffic keys, maybe adding a bandwidth limit to slow them down.

    Can we afford this uncertanty ? These days some services I use that are based on google maps started working awkward. It might be a coincidence, but I read this of a wanted threat of the times to come.

    The key point here is that, given the type of clients I have, I cannot ask for their credit card details. 11th of June is round the cornder so, at least to me, adding openstreetmap (or other) support with geocoding should be a priority

    Sorry for the long post. Thank you for the time spent to read it. I think a lot of developers are in my position right now.
    As always, thank you for your work and the excellent support you provide for your extensions.



    Hi Anh and Michele,

    I think the main issue here is that Google could change their Terms of Service again and reduce the "free" offering, whereas OpenStreetMap is open source meaning that if Metabox incorporates OSM there should never be an issue.

    In addition, OpenStreetMap uses data collated from a wide variety of official sources (including Geonames) so it's very reliable and the open source nature of the project means it fits well with the WordPress way of thinking.

    There are many mature GPL plugins on the WordPress repository that facilitate OSM. Presumably one of these would give a good starting point for integration: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/tags/openstreetmap/

    OpenStreetMap gets my vote.



    Check out these OSM "fields" for Gravity Forms and ACF - they should be relatively straightforward to convert into the Metabox equivalent:



    Anh Tran

    Hi Michele and David,

    Thanks a lot for your inputs. The inconsistent and unclear of information from Google is a big concern to us.

    I'll check the OSM next week and will try to provide a quick workaround.

    Anh Tran

    Hey guys,

    I'm almost done the OSM field for Meta Box. It's available on Github, in the map-field branch. You can try it now. Here is how it looks so far:

    View post on imgur.com

    However, I see OSM doesn't provide Geocoding service, which doesn't allow us to look up for an address and find its location on the map. There are several services out there (Bing, Mapbox, ArcGIS), but they are not OSM-official and of course have some limitation on usage.

    I'd probably will put the OSM field into a separate extension because of this limitation. While Google wants to take money from us, its product is really good and widely used.

    What do you guys think about that?


    Hi Anh,

    That's looking great.

    There are some ways to geocode without Google, the following is a reliable open source service with an accomplished API:


    A different (and maybe better) approach is a Metabox extension using Leaflet which handles nearly all of Google's paid services but using open source data/APIs:


    Hope this helps.


    If you haven't time to look at Leaflet too much (it's massive), here are some Leaflet geocoding plugins:


    Anh Tran

    Great links, David! I'll keep continue on that 🙂

    Update: I've done that! Now the "osm" field works similarly to the "map" field. The code is available here. And this is the demo code.

    Please try it and let me know what you think.

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