Google Map Types
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Google Maps has limited free usage quotas/limits, if you go over this usage value, you will be billed for service usage.See our recent announcement for more information about the new pricing changes for Google Maps API.
Events Manager’s integration with Google Maps provides you with multiple map types, each with their own advantages and disadvantages which mainly revolve around cost and flexibility. You can choose what kind of maps to display by visiting your Dashboard > Events > Settings > General (tab) > Google Maps and Location Services > Google Map Type
You’ll be provided with the following map types:
Static Maps (Pro Feature)
Static Maps is a great way to dramatically decrease API expenses whilst maintaining a professional look with customisation, balance and flexibility.
Static maps are images of a map, but will display very similarly to Dynamic Maps (and can be styled the same way), but can be displayed %70 more times within Google’s free usage limits. The main differences is that users can’t zoom in/out or move around the map, and the speech bubble you get in dynamic maps won’t appear.
However, with Static Maps you also have added options of caching your images, and enhancing user interaction by allowing users to load dynamic or embedded maps when clicking on the map image. Due to the various options afforded with our Static Maps feature, we’ve created a specific page for setting up Google Static Maps.
These are the maps that Events Manger has used from the get go for many years now. Previously, the free usage limits offered by Google made this map type a no-brainer, but unfortunately at this point the prices have made this type of map quite costly, affording you only 28,000 free map loads per month.
The advantages of these maps is that they are highly customizable and therefore provide you with a degree of flexibility and provide a custom look. You can style your maps via Google Maps settings section of your settings page, and also show text balloons within the map next to the marker of your location which shows your information about your event.
There is also no advertising on your map, meaning any competition surrounding your area cannot get your visitor’s attention.
Embedded maps are free to use. That is the major advantage… set it and forget it! However, there’s are some trade-offs… customization and flexibility.
Google will display a map tailored to the needs of the user visiting your site. That means that if they’re a Google user, they’ll see their avatar on the map, and if you’re in a heavily populated area there will be other locations showing up on there which you may not want, including any establishments that can advertise via Google Maps.
Additionally, there will always be a pane containing information about that location. The nice thing about that is there’s a link for users to click for directions, which takes them to a google.com page, or alternatively to star/favourite the location on their own google.com maps account. However, this is all Google-related services when you have no control over.
Below the choice of map types on the settings page, you do have the choice of what location information to base your embedded map off, which will affect what is displayed on the aforementioned pane:
Location and Address
This will be the same as going to maps.google.com and searching for the location name and address, which provides an accurate representation of your location on the map. It will, however, bring up information associated with that location place (if registered on Google Maps) including things such as star ratings and comments/reviews about that location. You cannot customize what is shown in this situation, such as bad reviews or low-star ratings.
This will display only the address, which may be a good mix between the location/address option and GPS coordinates. There may be a slight variation between exact marker positions, especially for larger buildings with multiple streets or door numbers.
You’ll see a set of coordinates on the pane within your map. The marker will be exactly where you placed it whilst editing the location. The downside is it’s not very informative for users, unless you actually want to show this to users (e.g. if it’s a remote place that can benefit from GPS coordinates).