Users of Google Map links for their websites will be charged for heavy usage of the service. This change will only effect websites that use the Google Maps API service for more than 25,000 map hits each day. Websites, especially travel firms, use Google Maps to link customers to a view of the destinations they inquire about.

Luckily the high limit or 25,000 free hits each day will make it so this change will only effect 0.35% of website owners using the API. Google is rumoured to be charging $4 per 1,000 views in excess of this limit.

Google said it was aware that developers needed time to evaluate their usage and determine if they were affected before taking action; which is why this change will not take effect until January 1st, 2012.

“We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning,” said Thor Mitchell, product manager of the Maps API at Google.

“However, with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable. “