Google rolls out new-look Maps Platform APIs for developers

Google rolls out new-look Maps Platform APIs for developers

Google has updated its Maps developer platform to make it easier for the developers using the service, to take advantage of the new location-based features and products.

Mark Stockley, a researcher with British security software and hardware company Sophos revealed recently that cybercriminals are redirecting people to potentially malicious websites via shortened, innocent-looking Google Maps links.

"The crooks have turned a service designed for shortening and sharing Google Maps URLs into an impromptu redirection service for sharing whatever the heck they like, thanks to an open redirection vulnerability in the maps.app.goo.gl service", Stockley wrote in a blog post.

Sophos reported that the suspect links are not easy to report, and more worrying was the fact that Google has known about the issue since September a year ago.

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Google will be rolling the Maps Platform into the Google Cloud Platform and from June 11th, developers using the APIs will require a valid API key and also be required to have billing setup in the Cloud Platform Console. Where once the service offered 18 APIs, the new system is condensed into three main areas: Maps, Routes, and Places.

On the business side, Google is moving to a single pay-as-you-go pricing scheme for Google Maps Platform.

For a long time, Google Maps appeared to be just whiz-bang technology that lacked a discernible way to generate revenue. Google says more industry solutions are on the way as it seeks out industries where it has the experience to deliver insight, but it does not mention any industries specifically. A Google spokeswoman confirmed that these deals are part of the new service. In March, Google managers announced that they brought Google Maps to the Unity game engine to assist game designers to digitally transform models of the physical world into game environments. Scammers have been abusing a feature in the Maps API, the link-shorting service on Google Maps.

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