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Permlink Replies: 1 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: 29-May-2019 21:44 Last Post By: jGromit
jGromit

Posts: 7,459
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Google Maps API Key
Posted: 11-Mar-2017 16:56
Google no longer allows the use of its maps API unless you obtain a key. A key may be obtained without any cost. Visit the Google developer page and click the Get a Key button. You will have to create a Google account if you don't already have one (also free). Follow the prompts to create a project (you can just accept the default name) and to create a Browser API key. Each of these steps will take some time, so don't get impatient and start clicking things repeatedly.

You may restrict use of the key to just your domain by going to the Google API Manager / Credentials section, and editing the entry for your key. But if you do so, local preview of your album will fail, because the map request will be coming from your PC, rather than from your domain. Restricting use of the key is probably an excess of caution. In theory, someone else could get your key and use it on his or her own site. This would become a problem only if the key were used for more than $200 worth of map views per day, which represents thousands of views (the exact number depends upon the type of map accessed, whether visitors invoke the "street view," and so on). And even if that happened, it's a simple matter to delete that key, get a new one from Google, and plug it into your album(s).

If you do opt to restrict the use of your key, be very careful about how you enter the domain name. To cover all bases, enter your domain as, for example, *.example.com/* and as example.com/*, each on a separate line. Then wait at least 15 minutes before testing your page - the setting may not take effect immediately.

Then, you should build and preview your album without entering your API key. Maps will display in a degraded mode, labeled "for development purposes only." When you have everything the way you want it, enter the API key, click Make Album one more time, then upload the album.

The Google instructions then tell you how to code your page to use the map API, but you don't need to do that. You don't need to write any Javascript. The jAlbum skins that use Google maps take care of that for you. You just need to copy and paste the API key in the appropriate place in the skin settings.

Skins that currently use the Javascript API to display maps include Comet, FancyBox, Gromit, Matrix, MatrixSlide, Neptune, Photoblogger, PhotoSwipe, Projector, Saturn, Slide Show 4, Tiger, and Turtle, and each provides a place in its settings to enter the key. While Chameleon and Minimal also include links to Google maps, they do not use the API and so do not require a key. A few older, unsupported skins include Google map displays - the method used is not known, so test before using these skins.

Edited by: jGromit on 29-May-2019 13:52
jGromit

Posts: 7,459
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Google Maps API Key
Posted: 02-May-2018 23:12   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
It is no longer be possible to use Google maps without an API key, even for older sites.

You need to set up a billing account with Google to obtain an API key. The first $200 worth of map usage each month is free of charge, and the numbers involved are large enough that it's extremely unlikely that any jAlbum user would actually trigger the need for payment. But Google will still insist that you provide a credit card.

https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/

More info: https://mapsplatform.googleblog.com/2018/05/introducing-google-maps-platform.html

If you already have an older, free Google maps API key, it appears that you can keep using it without providing billing information to Google. If your usage somehow spikes, and you exceed the "$200 worth free per month" threshhold, your map page may stop working. It will not be surprising if, at some point in the future, the older free keys simply stop working entirely unless you provide billing information.
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