Friday, October 5, 2007

Google Maps changes geocoding limits

I've been busy so haven't been paying such close attention to the blogosphere as usual, so I may have missed something, but I haven't seen much comment on the fact that Google announced on the Google Maps API blog that they are changing their approach to limiting geocoding requests (one of the Google developers at FOSS4G alerted me to this). Previously they required an API key, and limited you to 50,000 requests per day (which would typically be on a per server basis). Now they are switching to an IP-based system, which allows 15,000 queries per IP address per day (with no API key required), so if you use client side geocoding then you can process orders of magnitude more geocoding requests in your application than previously. This is good news for us at Spatial Networking as we were concerned about exceeding the 50,000 limit pretty quickly. For people currently using server side geocoding, it may not be such good news as they may need to modify their application to use client side geocoding (depending on their transaction volumes).

3 comments:

andrew said...

That's why you should use a geocoder-abstraction library that cascades down to different geocoders as the first ones fail (too many requests, address not found, timeout, etc)

Peter Batty said...

Well, an abstraction library may help in some situations but not all. For one thing, it constrains you to least common denominator functionality - for example, some geocoders can tell you the level of the match (city, street, address, etc) and others can't. Also, if you are trying to geocode several million addresses per day you will struggle to do that using a combination of services which only allow 50,000 per day.

Stefan said...

I thought Google API license would disallow server side use (e.g. out of Java) restricting it to JavaScript, doesn't it?