Just as promised in April, Google is starting to roll out usage limits to those who use the Google Maps API. The new restrictions limit those using the Maps API to 25,000 daily map loads, or 2,500 map loads if those maps have been modified using Styled Maps. Those who exceed that limit will need to either reduce usage, opt-in to paying for excess map loads, or purchase a Maps API Premier license. Fortunately, Google claims that only the top 0.35 percent of Maps API users will be affected, which means that developers should feel free to continue experimenting, and end users shouldn't see many sites using these APIs disappear.
Google is also taking steps to help those relying on the Maps API through the transition. It won't be enforcing limits until early 2012, giving users lots of time to analyze their usage and prepare for potential overage charges (ranging from $4 and $10 per 1,000 map loads). It's also promising at least 30 days notice on its blog before it starts charging for those who go over. While Google claims that the impact of these limits should be negligible, we'll get a better idea once users are able to track their map loads in the Google APIs console, which should happen soon.