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Mark Brindley

Google Maps Billing

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Hi Mark. One of the things you could do for now is disable some of the features to limit the number of requests. You can check what is causing the largest number of requests and go from there. Another option is to use the "tab" detail theme file which loads the map inside a tab and the map is only instantiated when the tab is clicked. If that's the biggest issue for you, then that's also the easiest way to deal with this problem in the short-term. Having a button that triggers the display of the map instead of doing it automatically.

I wrote about the challenges of offering another option here:

So there isn't going to be an option that can replicate all of the existing features for free, or even all of the existing features with a paid service because not all services have feature-parity with Google's services.

 

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How to reduce the jS API calls? I am also over the free plan limit. If google crawls my pages with map, Am I paying for that too?

2018-08-26_1621

 

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In this case you would need to reduce the number of maps shown on the site including the map module and maps in lists and detail pages. In detail pages you can try using the tabs theme to hide the map behind a tab so it's only shown when the tab is clicked.

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If google crawls my pages with map, Am I paying for that too? 

That's a good question. Do you think the number of requests you are seeing is disproportionately higher than pageviews on your site? I don't know for a fact if the Google crawler triggers the map API, that would be a huge conflict of interest for them, but I don't think it does as they are themselves blocking the Google Maps API Urls from being crawled in their robots.txt files:

https://maps.google.com/robots.txt

https://maps.googleapis.com/robots.txt

I can only assume that they've added all the necessary entries there to stop crawlers from triggering the API requests. If anyone knows different, please let us know.

 

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To try to alleviate the pain of unwanted API requests I am working on a new feature to implement a "Show map" button instead of directly showing the map. This will delay making any effort to generate the map until the button is clicked. It will work on detail, list, mapview page and module and it will look like this:

2018-08-26_10-44-38.jpeg

The image is a placeholder image which I've chosen and will be the same for all maps because you can't show a different image without generating API requests to get the image in the first place. You will be able to change the image if you want using CSS by changing the background property of the div.

I will add settings to enable the feature.

Stay tuned!

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New feature is available now for GeoMaps for JReviews 3 to display the "Show map" button. I added multiple display settings:

image.png

You can find the update in the remote updates page in the JReviews dashboard.

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Something has to be done to get away from Google maps. Even having less features and using OpenMaps would be better.

I have an extremely busy website that is all about locations (http://www.MilitaryCampgrounds.us). I used Geomaps extensively. When Google starting charging, my first week was $1700 (USD). I had to disable my API key. I now get the maps with the error message and "For Development Use Only" message on the maps. The maps work, but look terrible. But at least I'm not paying $7000 a month to have them!

I've started switching to static maps that is a link back to Google's map website. I don't like taking my visitors to Google's website, but I also can't afford the Google maps API fees. I still need to upgrade my PHP and jReviews. I'll then implement the new GeoMaps "Show Map" option. But I doubt this will bring my charges from Google down to an acceptable level.

I do hope Geomaps can be changed to use another source for maps (at least as an option).

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But I doubt this will bring my charges from Google down to an acceptable level.

It would be preferable if you try this before saying it won't do anything for you. That would be a lot easier than developing a new solution to work with a different system.

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