Google used to offers most of its services for free to spread them and gain a large share and now starts to charging for them. They started with the translate API and now with Google maps. Google started changing a lot time ago and if they continue to put money first they will loose. They offered their services for free and that let millions of people to use them and contribute to make them better and now they decided to charge them for the information they gave. Without the contribution from the people it would take them a lot longer to gain the information they have. Now internet users will probably move to a free alternative such as OpenStreetMaps but there are more of them including Bing Maps and WikiMapia. Google might start charging for other APIs too in the near future but this will create a move from companies and users to start replacing Google with alternatives. We did that for translation API and we will do that for maps too. For translation we picked Bing Translation API and for maps we will move to OpenStreetMaps.

Source: [TechCrunch]

Google to start charging for its maps