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Issue 17.5 ('Numbers')
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FEATURE

Maps (Part 1)

Implementing Maps in Xojo desktop apps with the MapKitMBS plug-in

Issue: 17.5 (September/October 2019)
Author: Markus Winter
Author Bio: Markus is a Molecular Biologist who taught himself REALbasic programming in 2003 to let the computer deal with some exceedingly tedious lab tasks. Some call it lazy, he thinks it smart. He still thinks of himself as an advanced beginner at best.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 28,850
Starting Page Number: 44
Article Number: 175004
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project175004.zip Updated: 2019-09-02 11:43:46

Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Recently I found myself in need of displaying a map in a Mac app for user-provided addresses, just like in the Eddie's Electronics example that comes with Xojo. But there was a problem. I'm still on Xojo 2018 R3, and when I ran Eddie's Electronics, instead of a map with the location I just got an error (see Figure 1).

Turns out that Google is now charging pretty much every developer for access to its Places API (and note that we are talking about desktop apps here—it hasn't filtered through to mobile apps yet). Google Maps used to have a large free usage limit of 750,000 map loads per month (with the price for commercial usage set at 50 cents for every 1000 map loads beyond the limit). But then Google raised their pricing 14x (!), from $0.50 to $7 for 1,000 map loads, while decreasing the free usage limit nearly 27x from 750,000 to just 28,000 map loads per month (on average that's only about 920 each day), all with very little notice to developers using their service.

Importantly, there is also no adjustment of the prices for international locations—developers must pay the same amount for the service used in Africa as for use in the U.S., despite the fact that revenue generation is vastly different between the two countries.

Unsurprisingly, quite a few developers got a nasty shock as things can get expensive quickly (especially if you haven't set usage limits to protect against unexpected cost increases). Those previously free 750,000 map loads they enjoyed? They would now cost you (if my calculation is correct, and after subtracting the free 28,000 web loads) $4,183!

Each month!

No wonder Xojo no longer uses Google Maps.

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