May 20, 2005
Marc at O’Reilly Radar reports that a Google engineer insinuated that an API will be made available so that all the google maps hacks will not be hacks anymore. Marc intrpreted this as meaning a Google Maps API may become available.
This means that google will support the additional costs of these hacks through hardware (map-renderring), bandwidth, licensing, etc. In general, most license structures reveloving around either map data or map renderers (i.e. telcontar or mapquest) involve a cost structure based on number of “map renders” (or how many times people viewed the map or the data which powered it). That means these data providers probably won’t complain to google about these services (because they will be paid for each render…assuming that is their cost structure)…but it also means google will pay the cost for them.
Well, I’m sure these additional costs are small incremental costs to them but I would imagine google would want to leverage these services when and if they are a substantial source of traffic (and if they don’t become that, it will, at a minimum, be a sign of good will and the “don’t be evil” mantra google tries to uphold). Could we see links on the maps (i.e. attribution statements that take you to google) that generate google direct-domain traffic? Maybe we will see google advertisers (ones that have specified a locale to advertise in) on or near the maps? Maybe there will be another optional API that plugs into advertisers (remember their advertisers in RSS feeds) that can be rendered on or near maps as an option to those who wish to generate revenue off of their applications (the same way Adsense generates revenue for content providers)? We’ll just have to wait and see.