Usage charges (Pro plans only)

HelloDrifter is primarily oriented to provide professional, commercial-oriented maps for events. Our two plans for commercial use include both a base fee and a usage fee after a certain threshold of map loads, billable monthly.

For example, our Starter plan consists of a $7-per-month base fee, and a usage fee of $0.01 per map load after the first 500 map loads. Monthly usage can be monitored on your embedded map dashboard.

What is a map load?

HelloDrifter’s deep feature set is built on top of a third-party map service called Mapbox. In order to bring maps to our users, Mapbox allocates usage against HelloDrifter every time a map is loaded. So, the reason we charge a usage fee is because Mapbox charges us a usage fee.

If you are embedding your map on your website, it is important to note that a map load does not necessarily occur on every page load. The technical definition of a map load is when a browser loads a page running the mapping Javascript software, which then pings a usage event once the map data is requested. In layman’s terms, this means you can expect a map load to occur when a user is able to see a map in their browser.

Importantly, this means that unwelcome visitors like bots and other automated software that crawl the internet are very unlikely to trigger a map load. Bots almost always just consume raw HTML from a webpage to look for keywords and the like. They are not designed download a webpage in a browser and use Javascript to trigger a map load for the simple reason that doing so takes substantially more resources. (These bots traverse millions of webpages a day, so every millisecond counts.)

HelloDrifter provides tools to prevent unnecessary map loads by providing an interactive screen that requires users to click a button before a map is loaded. This ensures that usage is only allocated when a user actually wants to interact with a map. We also provide the option to upload your own image as an interactive screen, giving you control over your website’s appearance.

What are typical usage costs?

We can’t say how your particular use case will fare, but in our experience usage is modest. Even using our Starter plan – which comes with 500 map loads a month – most events do not incur usage charges except in the month or two before the event when participants flock to study the map. Our smaller events (which tend to be trail ultra marathons) will tend to incur approximately $20 in usage a month during those months.

Larger marathons that use the Starter plan incur more usage in the month of their event, usually a healthy amount over $100. We recommend that race directors with these higher usage events use our Premium plan, which comes with very high monthly usage and is 30% cheaper ($0.007 vs. $0.01) even when usage charges are incurred.

Can I limit my usage?

Yes. If you want peace-of-mind, we can set a usage cap for you. Just tell us the most you would feel comfortable spending, and our systems will stop users from viewing your maps whenever your usage exceeds that limit. Your maps will automatically work as normal the following month, when you usage is reset.

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