In October Google announced the cost for Google Maps if you use above 25,000 map loads per day. Many developers balked at paying for a service that had been free for several years, though it affected fewer than 1% of developers using the Google Maps API. Now the search giant is lowering the cost from $4-8 CPM to a fixed price of $0.50 per 1,000 map views. It will also start enforcing the price, though the company says this process is not automated.
Over at Google Maps Mania, Keir Clarke has a good round-up of new Christmas-themed Google Maps mashups. Each year developers create new mashups with holiday themes, with most being map mashups. Two of these shown below have been added to our mashup directory. For more see our report from last year on tacky Christmas lights and finding out how far does Santa travel to you.