My new build package features a link with Google maps. However, having had a look at their terms and conditions, I am unsure exactly where I stand with integrating their tools within my chargeable SaaS package. I am sure a number of you have experience of this and can fill me on on what the actual situation is in the following three scenarios:
I obviously don't want/can't afford to pay the $10,000 licensing fee that they charge for starters so need to get a totally legal work-around
p.s. I realise no advice given to me constitutes formal legal advice and will not act on it without taking proper legal advice.
To make it short - if you are making money on your product which utilizes google maps you have to get license.
We had similar problem and decided not to mess with google.
Instead we found CloudMade.
You can check how it looks in our application
http://www.askyourtargetmarket.com/surveys/16458/statistic/charts?share=dd435f852630d682275018ecd5b84dbc Switch to "By Location" under "VIEW OPTIONS".
You might also want to look at other APIs. Google MAPs is not the only one accessible. I would also say it is not necessarily the best one in many cases. Please check those:
We have had a similar issue with our service. This is what is my understanding of their rules:
According to "Google Maps/Google Earth APIs Terms of Service" (http://code.google.com/intl/pl/apis/maps/terms.html )
9.1 Free, Public Accessibility to Your Maps API Implementation. Your Maps API Implementation must be generally accessible to users without charge. You may require users to log in to your Maps API Implementation if you do not require users to pay a fee. Unless you have entered into a separate written agreement with Google or obtained Google's written permission, your Maps API Implementation must not: (a) require a fee-based subscription or other fee-based restricted access ; or
(b) operate only behind a firewall or only on an internal network (except during the development and testing phase).
the definition of Maps API Implementation is:
7.1 (c) "Maps API Implementation" means a software application or website that uses the Maps APIs to obtain and display Content in conjunction with Your Content, according to these Terms.
As far as I understand, if any of payable functionality of your service uses Google Maps API, you are violating their rules. I mean, you can use their API only if all functions connected with Google Maps are 100% free. At least that is how we interpret this in our service.