Google Maps to charge for API access

From 1 January 2012, Google will charge for the Google Maps API service when more than the limit of 25,000 map "hits" are made in a day.

Websites, especially travel firms, use Google Maps to link customers to a view of the destinations they inquire about.

Google is rumoured to be charging $4 per 1,000 views in excess of the limit.

This development will most probably result in an uptake for Google competitor, Bing Maps, which has already made a number of inroads into Google Maps market share.