Google Maps is available to various other businesses for use in their products, and more tailored solutions for things like ridesharing and asset tracking are also offered. Google has just announced the next stage of development for the Maps ecosystem, including a new platform that streamlines the APIs already available and makes them easier to implement.

The 18 APIs are now split into three simple categories: Maps, Routes, and Places. Existing code will not be affected, however -- think of this as more of a way to make Maps APIs more accessible for future customers. This follows news from March that Google Maps data would be opened up to game developers, which will lead to more location-based gaming experiences like Pokemon Go.

Along with these changes, a new pricing structure is also being introduced. The Standard and Premium options are getting rolled into a single pay-as-you-go plan which includes $200 usage for free each month. The idea is that most developers will never need more than that, making it equivalent to the old free plan. The new pricing structure also eliminates up-front or termination fees. Custom support will be free for everyone.

The whole thing is going to be integrated with the Google Cloud Platform for better visibility across products. So from June 11th, you'll need a valid API key and Cloud Platform billing account to access Maps Platform products. Google says that scalability will also be improved with this reorganization. More information about the new platform can be found in this guide.