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  Reply # 2040606 19-Jun-2018 16:19
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grimwulf:

 

Find it a bit hard to believe that there'd be such a massive immediate price rise - strikes me that it probably wasn't properly licensed to begin with and perhaps this reflects some claw back of that;

 

 

 

 

I use a saas ecommerce system that had a large price rise for high use users, several years ago, when they changed the way they billed for it.  So it is possible something similar has happened, and maybe it is based on the number of queries it does?


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  Reply # 2040607 19-Jun-2018 16:20
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Fair enough - I don't know enough about how the app operates to make more informed comment - my response was based on the last line of the linked article :- "Metlink's website and app were "very busy" making more than 2 million calls a month on Google's mapping API, Clayton said."

 

In international terms, that's not a lot of usage of course, but just for Wellington? It's up there. My spidey sense tells me that's more to do with a chatty app than hundreds of thousands of users - but it could be a combination of both.

 

A quick poll here at the office shows 1 of 20ish people in the immediate vicinity have this app installed - but she doesn't remember when she last used it... so unless there's a cadre of super users out there...

 

Though I just twigged that this was the website as well, so maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2040624 19-Jun-2018 16:36
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grimwulf:

 

Fair enough - I don't know enough about how the app operates to make more informed comment - my response was based on the last line of the linked article :- "Metlink's website and app were "very busy" making more than 2 million calls a month on Google's mapping API, Clayton said."

 

In international terms, that's not a lot of usage of course, but just for Wellington? It's up there. My spidey sense tells me that's more to do with a chatty app than hundreds of thousands of users - but it could be a combination of both.

 

A quick poll here at the office shows 1 of 20ish people in the immediate vicinity have this app installed - but she doesn't remember when she last used it... so unless there's a cadre of super users out there...

 

Though I just twigged that this was the website as well, so maybe.

 

 

The Website and app have a useful feature of "show me where my bus is" that allows you to display the location of buses on a particular route in real time,  ... A bus updating their location on the map might result in multiple calls to the API,  I am not sure....


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  Reply # 2040627 19-Jun-2018 16:39
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DarthKermit: I wonder how essential a map service thing is for public transport? Anyone here depend on it?

 

As a substitute: static route & timetable info for journey planning is available on MetLink web site; dynamic on Warrick Gray's android Wellington Transit.


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  Reply # 2040653 19-Jun-2018 17:30
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I read the article. It says AT is already using OpenStreetMaps.org. Is there any reason Metlink needs to use Google?

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  Reply # 2040655 19-Jun-2018 17:35
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Whoever owns their maps API account would have gotten an email like this:

 

Click to see full size

 

I got one May 3rd 2018. So basically a month and a half has passed, yeah I guess in terms of appdev turnaround especially in govt that's expecting a bit much but anyway they were notified

I'm wondering if they've considered just providing their transport GFTS feed data then let Google Maps take care of route planning and headaches of running a mobile app. Can even include live transit data updates.

Google Transit -> https://maps.google.com/landing/transit/cities/index.html (Metlink is not listed)

 

Google Transit Live -> https://maps.google.co.nz/help/maps/mapcontent/transit/live-updates.html 

 

 

 

 





 


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  Reply # 2040670 19-Jun-2018 17:46
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DarthKermit:

 

Time to shop around for a better deal anyone?

 

 

 

 

I seem to remember this happening a few years back, I know a few of the services I used went to an alternative, and slowly they all returned to google, don't know why they returned, could have been poor service or maps from the alternative or google could have dropped their prices??


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  Reply # 2040693 19-Jun-2018 19:04
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wellygary:

Does anyone know if Google license on a annual or monthly basis?



It's per transaction or 1000 transactions as far as I know.


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  Reply # 2040697 19-Jun-2018 19:17
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I wouldn't expect any more than 30k users in total.

 

the app refreshes every minute, so and in the background will be tracking every bus on every route. Perhaps it is in fact letting every bus update via the google maps API every minute? I don't know enough about this stuff to really comment.

 

I did think that metlink are just having a cry in the media. 360k a year for a big commercial use of Maps is probably not too bad? I suspect they've been using it cheekily and are now getting the comeback.


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  Reply # 2040741 19-Jun-2018 20:19
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freitasm:

 

Google Maps monthly bill goes up from $1000 to $30000 for Metlink Wellington

 

Where do we even start?

 

Mapkit JS might be something that they could investigate: https://developer.apple.com/maps/mapkitjs/





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  Reply # 2040771 19-Jun-2018 21:33
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There is also Here Maps.

https://www.here.com/en

The GPS tracking company that I use switched from Google maps to Here Maps. Presumably due to cost.





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  Reply # 2040854 20-Jun-2018 08:41
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I thought about this as I carefully planned a trip home early, went to the bus stop in the rain only to find my bus had been cancelled according to the sign.  Calling Metlink confirmed this. If they are going to spend $30K/month I would much rather they have buses running than maps that tell you when the bus might run one day.





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  Reply # 2040855 20-Jun-2018 08:45
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Here's an article from 2012 when Google introduced charging beyond 25,000 hits per day. I seem to recall a lot of sites using OSM instead, which was pretty rubbish back then

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2056128/Google-Maps-start-charging--thousands-sites-apps-hit-fees.html

 

 


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  Reply # 2040860 20-Jun-2018 08:53
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Ah now my conspiracy theory antenna is twitching.

 

Didn't know about Google Transit - but that's very interesting.

 

What this is part of Google strategy to ramp up the heat on all the public transport companies worldwide (would have to assume a lot of them use GMaps) - and give them an 'easy out' by offering to do the job for them? Give us your data - we'll deal with all that nasty mapping/location stuff.

 

That makes much more sense - also correlates with the timing around this and strikes me as something Google would want to do - i.e. be the owner of public transport data; combine that with the knowledge of who is using the app (Google ID), thereby be able to detect when someone is at a bus/train/subway stop or even when travelling and voila - targeted advertising on public transport...

 

Also correlates with the efforts Google have been making worldwide to get wifi/LTE in subways around the world.

 

I just got that hammer meet nail feeling.


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  Reply # 2040882 20-Jun-2018 09:26
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Yeah well Google is an advertising company so it's not really a conspiracy, any personal data can be used to more accurately target ads.

 

Frankly I'm surprised it's taken them this long to launch a suite of bus-shelter, in-transit, in-taxi (Uber?), and full size digital billboards to expand their already booming web-display ads.

 

They (and Facebook, Apple et all) already have location services data tied to our digital persona, so could easily build something to dynamically serve targeted ads depending on who's within 10m, 50m, 100m radius of a screen etc.

 

Not that original an idea. But (IMO) part of the reason they haven't done it is that targeting ads that way could trigger a shift in attitude towards privacy and personal-data regulation which (if regulated) could hurt digital ad platforms bottom line in the longer term.





 


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