Understanding how Google and Mapbox API's work

Getting started with any project can feel overwhelming, but don't worry we are here to help you get set up.

There are a few things needed in order to get your account and and running after your 7 day trial period has expired.

  • Add your locations
  • Obtain your API key
  • Choose your subscription and add your card
  • Customize your map

One of the main questions we get asked is "Do I need to create an account to get my API key, and why do I need this key?"

Storemapper works with the Google Maps and Mapbox platform to ensure your customers get the best possible map experience. Because that map is on your website, publicly available, and your customer uses it freely, you’ll have to have your own relationship with mapping provider (Google in this case). This involves the creation of an account with them and generating API key or token that is linked to your map and site.

Lets first look at Google Maps. It is worth explaining in some detail how Storemapper, your store locator, the website where you install your store locator interacts with the Google Maps license.

Google Maps API

First, Storemapper does have an OEM license from Google Maps for our business. They know what we do and approve of it and we pay them money for it. Generally what we license from them, and what you get by being our customer, is (1) The ability to use Google’s Geocoding API, through our app, to automatically convert your addresses accurately into the correct map marker location (2) the ability to use various Google Maps tools inside our app at storemapper.co and (3) the ability to pay us money … any commercial implementation of Google Maps requires an OEM license.

Second, when you install the Storemapper embed code on your site, the thing that actually renders the maps is called the Google Maps Javascript API. When you add that to your website, along with our code, you are not licensing the Google Maps Javascript API from Storemapper (us). As that map is on your website, publicly available, and your customer uses it freely, it falls under a different (more generous) licensing structure that is ultimately between the website owner and Google.

How Storemapper uses Google Maps API

Google Maps API contains tons of libraries that provide various functionality. Your Storemapper is using the following ones:

Service name What it's used for When it's used
Maps JavaScript API Renders map in your widget Each time user lands on your Storemapper page causes one call to this API.
Geocoding API converts addresses into geographic coordinates (geocoding) Happens each time when your map is loading and each time when a search is run.
Places API Display address suggestions when typing Each key press in the search field causes a call to Places API for getting predictions. (only if you enabled autocompletion feature)

The main thing to know is that there are actually some usage limits, on how much traffic your store locator page can get that may trigger a need to enable billing with Google.

How Google billing works

Google offer a fixed amount of free usage each month of $200 and each API call counts towards this limit. With this credit you get:

  • Dynamic Map loads (Maps JavaScript API) – Up to 28,500 loads
  • Places Autocomplete (Places API) – Up to 70,000 chars
  • Geocoding (Geocoding API) – Up to 40,000 calls

Prices after free quota are the following:

  • Dynamic Map loads (Maps JavaScript API) – $7 / 1000 loads
  • Places Autocomplete (Places API) – $2.83 / 1000 calls
  • Geocoding (Geocoding API) – $5 / 1000 calls

For more up to date information about Google pricing, please check this link

Remember when checking out costs - the three API's we use for Google Maps are

  • Geocoding
  • Maps Javascript
  • Places

Lets look at a calculation -

You estimate 10 000 visits a month to the store locator page. For each visit, you estimate that:

  • A customer does 1 search attempt ;
  • A customer types an average of 8 characters in the search field to find their starting point. We’re running an autocomplete optimization on our side, which reduces this number two times.


  • Maps JavaScript API – 1 map load × 10 000 visitors = 10 000 map loads per month
  • Geocoding API – 1 searches x 10 000 visitors = 10 000  geocodes per month
  • Places API – 1 searches × 8 characters per search / 2 (autocomplete optimization) × 10 000 searches = 80 000 calls per month

Total cost: $70 + $50 + $226 – $200 (free credit) = $146 / mo

As you can see, the autocompletion feature powered by  Places API is the most expensive part. We suggest to disable it unless you need it desperately. Reach us at help@storemapper.co and we’ll do that for you.

Without autocompletion 99% of our customers should fit into free credit, so for almost every customer, there are no additional licensing fees and nothing extra you need to worry about when using your store locator.

Mapbox API

Mapbox is a little bit more simple in terms of understanding which API's they use and also setting up the API key.

Service name What it's used for When it's used
Mapbox GLJS Map Loads for Web Each time user lands on your Storemapper page causes one call to this API.
Temporary Geocoding API converts addresses into geographic coordinates (geocoding) Happens each time the map finds places, addresses, or points of interest by address, name, or with geographic coordinates
Static Images API Generate static map images from Mapbox styles. These images can be displayed on web and mobile devices without the aid of a mapping library or API. If a user wants to use a different image or they are using Mapbox theme to create a custom Mapbox style,

Mapbox GLJS pricing -

Monthly loads Cost Per 1000

Up to 50,000 Free

50,001 – 100,000 $5.00

100,001 – 200,000 $4.00

200,001 – 1,000,000 $3.00

1,000,000+ Contact sales ›

Temporary Geocoding API pricing -

Monthly requests Cost per 1,000

Up to 100,000 Free

100,001 - 500,000 $0.75

500,001 - 1,000,000 $0.60

1,000,001 - 5,000,000 $0.45

5,000,000+ Contact sales ›

Static Images API Pricing -

Monthly requests Cost per 1,000

Up to 50,000 Free

50,001 - 500,000 $1.00

500,001 - 1,000,000 $0.80

1,000,001 - 5,000,000 $0.60

5,000,000+ - Contact sales ›

You can find more information around Mapbox API's here

Geocoding of stores on Mapbox is handled by Location IQ

Storemapper pay for the Geocoding of these stores

As you might expect, all of this information is presented to the best of our ability at the time of writing, is not legally binding and should be used for informational purposes only. Please contact us if you have any questions at all.

If you have any questions regarding the API's and pricing, please do not hesitate to reach out at help@storemapper.co

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