I, for one, don’t begrudge Google the chance to charge for their excellent product. What that does, however, is make certain business models that were previously viable now unviable. That is, if they remain with Google Maps. In my previous post, I went over some alternatives.
The company I work for, after evaluating all the alternatives, including paying Google for a license, has decided to go with Mapquest. While the API is not as gorgeously documented (both on the company site and on the web), it has the same licensure as Google Maps used to (free for any publicly accessible website), with much of the same base functionality.
I’ll be very interested to see how many people are doing such high value work with Google maps that they can afford to pay for licenses or per use.