Google changed its policy recently regarding the use of its Google Map API. This API now requires a free key, even for development purposes. Although a key is needed immediately for new work, Google allows public websites that were running before June 22, 2016 to continue to operate without a key until October 2016. Developers should get their own private key and keep it private. Google tracks usage counts against that key. 

This new policy directly affects ASNA Mobile RPG’s DdsGMap control (the mobile UI element that dynamically displays a Google map). That control has always provided a GoogleKey property (shown in the red oval below), but until this policy change, that property didn’t need a value; now it does. To use Mobile RPG’s DdsGMap now, be sure to It is very easy to get your own free developer key and put it in the control’s GoogleKeyproperty.

Despite this new key requirement, Google’s map usage policy remains generous. The new plan provides up to 25,000 free map loads per day. Overall, Google’s new key policy is simple and direct and, given its grandfather clause for existing apps, isn’t likely to cause most users much grief.

There is one minor point at the tail end of the announcement that raises a tiny bit of cynical suspicion. It says,

“We will also be proactively contacting all existing API key users who, based on usage growth patterns, may be impacted in the future.”

Maybe it’s just me, but the phrase “may be impacted in the future” (beyond a noun being used as a verb) seems a little foreboding.