#Business

New pay-as-you-go pricing for Mapbox

Mapbox changes their pricing to pay-as-you-go for each API and SDK

For developers, choosing a mapping API could prove to be bigger of a headache than ever imagined. With unpredictable pricing, constant changes, and confusing billing, the wrong mapping API could certainly slow down the development process for many, and nobody wins. At Geoawesomeness, we know this as a fact because we have talked to many developers and our most popular blog, receiving thousands of views per month discusses alternatives to the Google Maps API!

Recently, Mapbox announced that their APIs and SDKs are now available to developers on pay-as-you-go basis. Most notably, they have increased their free tier for almost every product and publicly published pricing for all services, including showing volume discounts that automatically trigger as usage increases. We’ll talk about what it could mean for developers.

So what’s changing?

Increased free tier: Mapbox has upped their free tier for almost every product.

Pay-as-you-go: The pay-as-you-go pricing could mean that developers won’t have to worry about unnecessarily paying for what doesn’t get used.

Volume discounts: When an application reaches volume scale, it automatically gets volume pricing.

No commercial restrictions: Mapbox is phasing out differentiated pricing. It won’t matter which use case or industry you are using their products for.

Support from entry level:  Support plans are no longer only for Enterprise customers, and there will be different tiers to choose from.

We’ve only broken down the majority of the changes. You can read more about them here.

What this means for developers

  • Generous free tier to encourage building and make it easier to get started
  • Predictable pricing
  • Clearly defined discount tiers as businesses scale

We’re especially excited about for students and developers to have access to more features before they have to pay for usage. In general, it could mean that developers have to worry less about pricing because of changes such as automatic volume pricing.

However, these changes won’t go into effect until November 20, 2019. If you’re eligible for savings, you can opt-in to the new pricing today from your account dashboard.

If you are looking to develop web maps, this new pricing scheme will certainly be quite attactive. If you are already using Mapbox, how do you think the new changes are going to affect your organization?

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Probe by FCC on location data:Telecom giants under the radar again

Location-data has been both a boon and a bane since the time smartphones have entered into our lives. We have become used to the comfort provided by the location-based services, however, a thought that has been constantly bothering us is, “Am I safe with my location being made known to so many people?”

There has been a lot of hue and cry around breach of privacy and selling of user data by telecom companies. Regulations have been passed, ‘consent’ being used as a measure to safeguard the interests of the telecom giants, but still all has not been well. If things would have been going the way they are supposed to be, we would not be having Mark Zuckerberg apologizing for data breach. While aggregators have been slapped with lawsuits and public apologies, what is the source of all contention?

Of course, the problem begins with the ‘attitude’ and ‘not so favorable’ intentions of the telecom giants. In an effort to curb the menace at the roots, Commissioner of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Jessica Rosenworcel on May 1, 2019 via a letter, sought details from AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon about their data handling practices. ‘How much location-data is made available to the aggregators?’ – this was the crux of the investigation.

AT&T defends itself

On May 17, 2019, AT&T replied to the letter, stating:

It had phased out provision of customer location information to aggregators in June 2018. It made an exception for use cases involving emergency services and fraud prevention.

Before it provided customer location data to an aggregator or location- based services (LBS) provider, it investigated them -their corporate history, security policies, and privacy policies — and approved each planned use of customer location data.  The mighty ‘consent’ to the rescue, we say.

As of March 29, 2019, AT&T stopped sharing any AT&T customer location data with location aggregators and LBS providers. All parties who have received AT&Tcustomer location data in connection are required to delete that information and it verifies that they have done so. I still don’t feel safe. The looming ‘What ifs’ bother me.

Nailed it! – The last point the letter makes it seem as if the lawmakers are to be blamed here. AT&T states that it is legal to sold location data, if we are talking about ‘A-GPS data.’ Lo behold! There goes all the promises to ensure safety of users down the drain. AT&T says, A-GPS data is usually collected for GPS-based services and emergency services and it is not illegal to sell it as per US Federal Law.

And, we are back to square one.

What others have to say

The story of other three telecom giants T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon is also not so favorable. While Verizon had long back promised to stop providing location-data to aggregators, earlier this year, it was discovered that the data was still being made available to some third-party companies like Zumigo and Microbilt. What’s more scary is that this data was easily accessible by bounty hunters, Motherboard found. As said earlier, no safety is guaranteed as the carriers very easily claim that the fault lies with its partners for not handling the data appropriately and deleting it when necessary. We definitely need stricter laws here. T-Mobile says it took a similar action, notifying its providers last fall that it would be ending its contracts with location-based service providers and doing so in March. Sprint, on the other hand, says it’s in the process of ending its contracts.

Sprint privacy chief Maureen Cooney wrote. “As of May 31, 2019, Sprint will no longer contract with any location aggregators to provide LBS. Sprint anticipates that after May 31, 2019, it may provide LBS services directly to customers like those described above, but there are no firm plans at this time.”

Words like ‘anticipates’ and ‘no firm plans’ keep our pulse racing…

Definitely FCC and other lawmakers need to play a stricter role in order to ensure safety of the public, who cannot imagine staying without their phones today.

 

 

 

 

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