[Sponsored Report] Naver improves map API prices to rival Google

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[Sponsored Report] Naver improves map API prices to rival Google

After Google adopted a pricier billing system for its Google Maps data, local map service provider Naver is expanding its presence in the local map data market.

In June last year, Google launched a so-called Google Maps Platform that offers a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) used in Google Maps to developers at a higher cost than before. The tech giant used to only make users with heavy data usage pay.

An API is a software protocol that allows certain data to be used by other programs. Map-related APIs are crucial to companies like delivery service operators that don’t develop maps but depend heavily on map data.

The new system made bills at least 14 times higher for map data users, according to Naver.

Maps JavaScript API, an API that enables users to customize map content and imagery, was free up to 25,000 uses per day, and only cost $0.50 per 1,000 uses after that.

Under the new system, Google only offers 28,500 uses per month for the same API. After that, it costs $7 per 1,000 uses.

When use exceeds 100,000, the cost becomes $5.60 per 1,000 uses. Each use is counted when the API-embedded map is loaded by customers.

Naver said its product is much cheaper and offers better quality data for Korean roads.

For the same kind of API, Naver offers 1,000 uses for 100 won (9 cents). The company is also running a promotion that offers customers 6 million API uses per month for free until the end of this year, according to a company spokesperson.

According to Naver data, its map API package, dubbed MAPS, is gaining popularity after its launch in November last year. Compared to API uses recorded in the first week after the launch, the total accumulated usage three weeks later proved to be 200 times larger.

By Kim Jee-hee [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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