Important Changes to the Google Maps Platform

What is the Google Maps Platform?

As you may have heard, Google has recently revamped their entire Google Maps developer platform and introduced the Google Maps Platform. This is part of a series of updates designed to evolve and streamline their core APIs - however, this also presents some new challenges for Authors and their customers.

Until recently, an API key was not required to display a map using the Google Maps platform. In 2016, it was announced that keyless access to the API was to be restricted over the next few years. With this two year grace period coming to an end this June, items utilizing any part of the Google Maps platform cannot gain access to it without an API key.

In a statement that Google issued this month, they also announced that in addition to a valid API key, from June 11th, 2018, a current Google Cloud Platform billing account (using a credit card) is required to access core products. Once billing is enabled, all users will get access to $200/month of free monthly usage in credits to use for Maps, Routes and Places products. You can check out their Pricing Sheet to get an idea of how much usage you may be able to get within the limit.

To help you get prepared for these upcoming changes, we have explored some of the key implications of the Google Maps Platform changes that will impact you - as Authors, and the updates required for your current and future customers.

What Do These Changes Mean for Authors?

The changes to the Google Maps Platform will specifically affect CodeCanyon and ThemeForest Authors who use Google Maps in their items. Authors will need to update their items to ensure that they will continue working correctly. Items that do not pass an API key, or have no option to replace the API key that is included with the item, are going to leave customers without a straightforward way to resolve the issue.

Depending on which API of the Google Maps platform you’re using, the impact may vary from Google returning a low-resolution map watermarked with “for development purposes only” to showing an error message, or simply ceasing to function entirely.

When Google’s changes take effect, any item that does not work as advertised may result in refund requests and will be disabled until related issues are resolved.

Please note that we do not have any control over these changes and it will be your responsibility to ensure that you have updated your items to meet the new requirements for your customers. Check out Google’s User Guide for more information on these changes, as well as the Transition Tool that they have provided.

Next Steps & Recommendations

We recommend that Authors move to the basic embed API to prevent issues with customers having to replace the API key, as well as their demo sites not being charged for the visitors we send to their demo.

We also recommend Authors explore OpenStreetMap, and other libraries, like Leaflet, that wrap around the OpenStreetMap APIs.

Additional Reading and Resources

Google Maps User Guide
Introducing Google Maps Platform
Google Maps Platform Pricing Sheet
Updates to the Google Maps Platform

We’ll be around for the next seven days responding in batches to any questions you have. Please remember our community guidelines as you post. Thanks.


Thank you for letting us know, this announcement is very helpful! :green_heart:

Besides these, I would recommend authors who decide to still use Google Maps dynamic maps - to also specify in their items descriptions about these Google changes.

In the very same day Google made this announcement, I already had a refund request only because I did not specified in item description about these Google changes.

Good luck to everyone, fingers crossed! :woman_technologist::man_technologist:


So basically each item with a Google map should require an API key in order to work. We’ve created new API key for our products and restricted the access to work only on our domain. So when the buyers will buy our product they’ll need to generate own API key and replace ours.
Is this the correct way of doing it?
Thanks for announcing this.

From what I understand, embedding maps using iframes will still work as it did before, this will only affect items that have used the API version, and not the embedded version…


how i can change the google map on this page? please suggest me

I thought was already like that since a lot of time

We had to implement a field for MAPS api key already since a lot of time. Keyless was probably restricted by country and domain since much more time than Google sayd, as we had many customers having problem without API key.
We simply added a custom field in the plugin options and instructions to create the API key, this works seamlessly, Google instructions are pretty plain.

Customers seem to have no problem following Google’s instructions and creating their own api key.

Thank you so much for this explanation.
We have been using Google Maps API for a long time, so not to worry about that by now :smiley:

Best regards.

Yep, this is true. The basic embed API is basically unchanged and should continue functioning.

Yes, this is the right way to do things. For lower level code items, like JS modules or PHP classes and such, it’s fine to mention where the API key is located but the higher level items, like full web application and things like WP theme and plugin will need a setting in the item where the user will be able to swap out the API key without having to manually edit the code. Hope that makes sense!

Good job! This is exactly how the scenario should be handled. :slight_smile:


That’s excellent news! Thanks for confirming! :slight_smile:

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great information. thank you.

This notification is not clear. I see Siddharth from Envato team clear the issue.

We will use our API key and customer will use their own API key. The procedure is working from the beginning. Then why this line.

Because if your item is not working then… when Google’s changes take effect, any item that does not work as advertised may result in refund requests and will be disabled until related issues are resolved.

@QantumThemes Now they will have the problem because, to create an API key, they need to give a valid credit card which most of us don’t want to do.

@trippleS Now they need valid credit card to generate API key, that’s the whole thing. Also the Free is $200 / month. So most people won’t add credit card. :frowning:

So basically you cannot add Google Maps because its free. Its not free anymore (unless you are using Embed Iframe)

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It’s free for the first 28.000 displays (calls). See the pricing table:

How many websites have more than 28.000 monthly users who visualize the page with the map? (maybe themeforest authors with their demos, I’m not sure though)

Google AdWords works the same way since long time ago. They give you a free starting usage, than you pay depending of what you use.

Let’s not panic the customers.

Besides that, in Google Developer Console, they say you can set limits to protect against unexpected increases:


One thing to add though it wasn’t mentioned here is that now the theme developers will have to pay attention to how they include the calls to Google Maps JavaScript API in the theme.

Some themes include the call to Maps API in all pages, but it has to be included only in the page that displays the map (otherwise they will increase the number of calls and the theme buyer will be in the situation to unexpectedly reach the free maps usage)


I do not have credit card, so no other options for me :frowning:

@ivanh84 Nope, you still have options. If you do not have a credit card, if you make <28.000 Google Maps requests per month (<200$ free usage/month) nothing happens.

Most users don’t have 28.000 displays of the map per month, so not having a credit card it’s not affecting these websites ( )

Hi, sorry - I do not have credit card (just debit, paypal or cash), I do not have clicks/views 28000 on my website, all was functioning for few years… it is apartment listing (60-70) site (WordPress) and it is just info site for my clients…to check live callendar of their bookings. I had really nice half page map with listings points… now I have (Oops check Java script) so I remove it currently… :frowning:
And every listing under info have little map, it look nicer, now it is empty area

I try to see API key issie and it lead me to a point where I need to put credit card…

Website is: [removed by mod]

Just basic simple website with no traffic… and sorry I have just basic knowledge on wordpress