An important Google announcement that will impact all major users of the Google Maps API is the Introduction of usage limits to the Maps API.
The HEO blog summarizes it this way: "Beyond the free limit of 25,000 views per day, sites will start having to pay $4 per 1,000 views." The details are actually in the Google Maps API FAQ. This 25,000 limit will impact only heavy traffic websites, which may be interested in the more cost-effective Maps API Premier license. But still that's the end of the free Google Maps API. Enforcement will begin in early 2012.
In the Google announcement: "We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning. However with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API we need to secure its long term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable. By introducing these limits we are ensuring that Google can continue to offer the Maps API for free to the vast majority of developers for many years to come."
The second announcement is Google Map Maker now available for Canada. And as a bonus (and less important), here's the official entry for this week's imagery update to Google Maps and Google Earth.