In March 2019, Google announced a new policy for Geocoding – Map Lookup. We use Google Geocoding for the Address Lookup feature in our PC, Android and iPhone Apps.
The change is significant. After providing us this service for free, Google is now proposing to charge $0.05c per lookup. There are complexities in the lookup on whether it is just text, or whether we download the map picture and the location picture. Overall, our DejaOffice users do about 50,000 lookups per month.
Not wishing to get a $2500 bill, we are moving to other options. For DejaOffice for iPhone we have switched to Apple maps which are being supplied for free.
For DejaOffice for Android we tried using Bing Maps, but they wanted to give us a $5000 bill because they count lookups differently than Google. Also their Geocoding library is not nearly as complete. We have moved to OpenMaps, but they immediately issued us a warning that we have too many customers trying to map at the same time.
So we are now playing with a hybrid solution. We feel the real culprit for us is just a few people who are mapping their whole database on a regular basis. So we have slowed down that process and shunted it to OpenMaps. You can still do it, but the Map process is slowed to one lookup per second, so a 3000 record database will now take more than an hour to look up.
We have reverted Contact and Calendar location mapping to Google – because it’s just a much better service – as long as you do it one at a time.
We still expect a bill from Google. But we are hoping it is small enough to just absorb so we don’t have to create a billing system.