Google has announced a streamlined version of their Google Maps offering targeted mainly at ride-hailing, gaming, and delivery companies. Known as Google Maps Platform, the service now offers three main areas (Maps, Routes and Places) as opposed to previously having 18 individual APIs.
What is also interesting is that developers and companies who use the new Google Maps Platform will only pay for the services they use with no annual, up-front, termination fees or usage limits. This model, will likely help attract more developers and organisations to using Google Maps Platform as it makes it manageable and possibly affordable to scale.
"Ridesharing companies can embed the Google Maps navigation experience directly into their apps to optimize the driver and customer experience. Our asset tracking offering helps businesses improve efficiencies by locating vehicles and assets in real-time, visualizing where assets have traveled, and routing vehicles with complex trips. We expect to bring new solutions to market in the future, in areas where we’re positioned to offer insights and expertise. Our core APIs work together to provide the building blocks you need to create location-based apps and experiences. One of our goals is to evolve our core APIs to make them simpler, easier to use and scalable as you grow. That’s why we’ve introduced a number of updates to help you do so," said the company in a statement announcing the Google Maps Platform.
The platform has been in the works for a while with Lyft as one of its early customers when it announced towards the end of 2017 that it had replaced the service it used for driver in-app maps with Google Maps.
The Google Maps Platform can be seen as a move by Google to formally start streamlining and further monetizing its multitude of services that are already being used by thousands of developers and companies. The other interesting angle that Google Maps Platform will be developing is that of trying to be the maps platform of choice for developers of augmented reality games.