After silently listing prices in its FAQ for a few months, Google has announced plans to charge for high usage of its Google Maps API. The company is making clear policies that have been present for some time. Google Maps went enterprise in 2006 when its Premier Maps was released. Many of the largest sites using Google Maps are already paying. While some may worry about Google charging for what has been free to most developers for six years, most Google Maps sites won't be charged and those that go over will be able to pay for overages in small increments.
A new service for city planners and others requiring detailed demographic and regional data has a great way of accepting geographic input. Cubit uses the Google Maps API to determine the area in which its user is interested. Then, it queries its own data sources based on the path or shape the user selects.
There is something to be said for simplicity, especially when it comes to applications that leverage web APIs for mobile devices. Enter Sparrow, an application for the iPhone, that serves as a good example of how a few web APIs can be elegantly implemented for use on a mobile device.