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They put a limit on the amount of map views, geocodes etc that can be done each day but in the documentation I can't find anywhere where they actually list how it is authenticated.

My guess is it has to be one of the following:

  • Website url
  • Ip address
  • Google account

If anyone knows, that would be really useful.

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v2 was api-key - v3 is IP address – Mapperz Feb 20 '13 at 18:33
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In fact, there are various way Google is identifying the requests that are done, and most of the time the way it is done is related to your use case.

For general use and using the 'free' version: You can track the usage by specifying an API key even if it's not necessary anymore. The requests are managed by URL (referer) and by IP address.

For general use but with needs to buy additionnal quota: You need to use an API key to track the use and you might want to declare URI using the dedicated portal (called console), see:

For Business users: You will need to include the key inside the script reference to the control, see:

Also, here is a summary view of what should be used depending on the type of service you're using as an Enterprise customers:

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