How to ACTUALLY Get a Google Maps API Key Easily

Page on Google Maps API Key Site

They’ve got all the money in the world and the best and brightest minds from across the globe, and yet somehow Google seems to have no idea how to make things intuitive. If you’re like me, you thought it would be the easiest thing in the world to get a new Google Maps API key, but found yourself on sales pages that explained when you can use the free API key, and when you’d need to pay, but inexplicably there was no button anywhere to actually GET the free API key. You probably clicked through to “FAQ”, thinking the most common question MUST be, “okay, how do I actually get it???”, and yet it wasn’t.

(In case you weren’t actually in the pit of despair I was, here is the mind-bogglingly stupid page I’m describing. If you can figure out how to sign up for a free key from there, you get a prize!)

So, let’s get into how to actually do it. Doing it is easy as long as you’re in the right spot.

Getting a Google Maps API Key

1. Go to this page: https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/get-api-key
2. Scroll down and click the “GET A KEY” button. It’s blue and obvious.
3. Select a project if it exists, otherwise scroll to the bottom and add a new one.
4. Click “Create and Enable a new API”
5. After far more time than you would think it should take, you’ll have your new key.

Hopefully this helps someone… I remember this being really easy in the past, but it was much more difficult this time around. Maybe because I was linked to the wrong page to begin with, I don’t know.

Good luck, and use those API keys wisely!

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Lakeville, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

2 Comments on “How to ACTUALLY Get a Google Maps API Key Easily”

  1. Incidentally, I have been working for awhile on a Google Maps-based javascript webapp (custom maps with custom search) and I learned a dirty little secret: You do not need to use any key at all! Just leave the key out of the API call and it works fine. I assume they track requests by IP address and lock you out if you exceed the free limits. However, that is 25000 per day, I will never come close to that.

    1. That may be true, but for certain uses/applications, it won’t work without it. I think it’s if whatever you’re using uses the v3 API or whatever, it will require you to have one. But that’s usually out of my control for what I’m using, since I’m using pre-built plugins and whatnot.

      Also, how did you find this post so fast? Are you one of the like 100 people left in the world that uses an RSS feed?

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