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South BayGeo Meetup Message Board › Google Geocoding service - free vs Premier

Google Geocoding service - free vs Premier

Laura K.
Fremont, CA
Post #: 3
I am developing a SaaS app that uses Google geocoding. In reviewing the terms of use, it appears that the free service is limited to 2500 per day. The Google Premier account offers a minimum of 100K geocodes per day for $840/month.

The difference between 2500/day and 100K/day is a big gap.

Since we are just starting out, we don't expect to have a 100K/day load, but might exceed the 2500/day.

Has anyone experienced this?
What happens if you are using the free account and exceed the 2500/day? Does this volume need to be sustained for days/weeks/months? What happens if we are barely over the 2500/day and not close to the 100K/day? Does Google send an administrative message or just shut off the service until the account is upgraded? What are the thresholds?

I'm just trying to find out what to watch out for and if I should be concerned with using the free service until the load is over a 100K/day for a sustainable period of time.

Any insights are appreciated.

Laura Klemme
Mitchell P.
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1
Laura Klemme:

Before delving into discussion, are you sure its not $840/month from 2500/day to 100k/day?

For discussion: We faced the same questions and decided the answer was to build our own geocoder. Google gets expensive when used commercially.

That said, building a geocoder is a very daunting task.
Part of your decision process should include:

  • First, you must decide if the information you want to return to the user is in Google's normal return parameters. If not, Google either becomes more expensive or is just not an option.
  • Second you must decide if everything Google returns is what you want to display or if you want only some of what they display. If you don't need it all, or if having it all makes for a distraction from the purpose your geocoder is meant to serve, then you must add programming costs for filtering what you capture to use from the Google information return.
  • Do you need more than a base street map? Do you need points of interest (POI)? Are your users interested in the POI that Google provides or do you need to load specialty data? Specialty data adds another layer of programming issues if you use Google or any other third party source for your geocoder. Either the geocoder provider has to give you a quote for the information they need to add and feed, or your programming staff has to build an application to read he geocoder's return information and use that as arguments for returning from your local server the information you need to add to the display. Then you've got to mash up the two information streams so they display how you want.
  • Will you be needing to batch geocode any addresses? This could push you over the 2500/day and 5 QPS limits in an instant.
  • Do you only need geocoding? If so, Google Maps is really not what you need since they don't offer only geocoding through the the Google Maps API.

We developed our own geocoder. I am interested to hear more about what you envision using your geocoder for. That will inform my responses and make them more useful.
Mitchell Pearce

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