There are a growing number of websites that uses Google Maps where the maps aren't loading correctly as they don't have a valid API key.
Back in 2016 Google announced that they were deprecating any calls to their services which did not include an API key. These services continued to work without keys, however, this will cease to be the case as of the June 11th 2018 deadline.
Keyless calls to any of the following APIs will return an error:
- Maps Static API (including Static Street View)
- Directions API
- Distance Matrix API
- Geocoding API
- Geolocation API
- Places API
- Roads API
- Time Zone API
How to overcome this issue
Its a simple case of obtaining a valid API key for Google Maps, a fairly simple process in itself, but with this you will have set up a billing account and enter your credit card details. For most users this will not result in any billing as the limit before billing starts is 28,000 views per month, but once this limit is reached billing starts and at a hefty rate.
Until now, if your app exceeded the 25,000 views per day, you were charged at $0.50 USD per 1,000 additional requests, up to 100,000 per 24 hours. The new system charges $7.00 USD per 1,000 additional requests. There is a $200 per month credit that will be applied to monthly usage of the Maps, Routes and other Places products, hence the 28,000 free views per month.
There are alternatives
As always there are alternatives, below is a list of some of the more popular ones available:-
I personally have only used Leaflet amongst those listed above and found it very simple to set up, Here looks to be an interesting alternative with it's 'Freemium' plan allowing 250,000 views before any billing takes place.