In October 2011, Google finally revealed pricing for Google Maps services. Lightweight usage was still free…significant load volumes would begin to incur charges: basically, services and applications that generated more 25,000 map loads per day would be charged $10-$40 for every additional 1,000 map loads.
For businesses put off by the new costs of Google Maps, the main alternative seems to be OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is a UK-based, volunteer-driven non-profit dedicated to creating and offering free geographic data to anyone who wants it.
OpenStreetMap (or OSM) boasts more than 400,000 registered volunteers who supply mapping data and updates to the project. It’s an oversimplification, but think of OSM as a loose equivalent to Wikipedia for mapping data: anyone can contribute, and the content is available to anyone.
Foursquare and Apple have already made the leap to OSM – learn more – Why Are Companies Defecting Google Maps?
“A free editable map of the whole world…made by people like you.”
“View, edit and use geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on Earth.”