Best Map API for Location-Based Services: Mapbox vs Google Maps vs OpenStreetMap

Mapbox is free for up to 25,000 mobile users and 50,000 web loads while up to 28,000 loads per month are free when you pay $5 per 1,000 between 50,001 and 100,000 and the price goes down with increasing volume. Mapbox aims to provide an open-source platform and uses data from OpenStreetMap. To create a Google Maps or Mapbox map, you’ll likely need to write some code. Both provide SDKs for JavaScript, which can be used to embed the map into a web page. You’ll either need a programming background yourself or will have to hire a web developer to add Google Maps or Mapbox to your website. Designed for businesses of all sizes, Mapbox is free to start building with and offers generous free tiers for most products.

No matter how good the alternatives are, they still can outrun Google Maps, the best API at the moment. Under the caring wing of Google, the Google Maps platform has managed to become the number one mapping service with over a billion active monthly users. Both mapping platforms provide high-quality satellite imagery solutions using global satellites. Although Google is slightly ahead of Mapbox Satellite Streets, the latter keeps improving. Thanks to the Street View vehicles, regular corrections from users, and tons of satellite data, Google maps has no equals in terms of coverage.

How to Choose the Best Mapping Platform

If your app needs to provide directions or track the route, you will need navigation. Some big companies like Uber agreed on a personalised package and Google Maps enabled a turn-by-turn navigation API for them. For such an API, Uber paid approximately $58 million within two years. This way, all the clusters are updated every time the map is rescaled or moved. At MadAppGang, we utilised server-side clustering while working on theAtlasproject for a major shipping company. Since there was no ready-to-use library, we developed our own component for clustering geopoints in Golang.

  • Large corporations have money for the best designers and developers.
  • In addition, Mapbox mobile SDKs automatically cache tiles and other resources requested during normal use.
  • If you are working on the development of an application that needs a geo-location service, you will be happy to discover that there are quite a few APIs to choose from.
  • The Street View feature produces engaging panoramas from various angles of streets all over the world.

Uber, Bolt, Trip Advisor, and other companies are happy to use the service. Talking about the direction and built-in navigation, both the APIs have an efficient mechanism that allows you to provide navigation services to the users within your app. Google Maps and Mapbox, both have auto-suggest features in the search functionality. Both these APIs allow the users to search for different locations either by using the coordinates i.e latitude & longitude or by entering the place name in the search bar. Mapbox Studio is like Photoshop for maps where designers have control over everything from colors and fonts, to 3D features and camera angles, to the pitch of the map as a car enters a turn.

List of Features

Regarding map content, OpenStreetMap is both neutral and transparent. Any person or company involved in creating the map is welcome to render it to suit their needs. And, you do not How to Get Help Desk Experience Chron com need to worry about any payments to access the data from the database. You can use Mapbox Studio – a powerful tool where you can customize your map, create re-usable datasets.

Why do people use Mapbox?

Mapbox makes it easy to create beautiful custom maps and quickly integrate them into websites and mobile apps using OpenStreetMap data.

The biggest one is that the map has limited functionality, even the basic one, making you extremely dependable on third-party APIs. Shopify, Facebook, and Airbnb are only some of the well-known apps that use Mapbox. Of course, these cases are just a few examples when you can find Google Maps API useful. But if none of them resonates with your app, perhaps you should give a try to Mapbox – Google Maps API alternative. It provides interactive 3D visual representations of various surroundings worldwide, including not just cities but also rural areas. Most pictures are done by car and shown as blue lines on Google Maps.

The Ability to Create Markers and Clusters

Still, this location service provider is no silver bullet despite the reputation and popularity. So, let’s explore the advantages of Google Maps integration as well as the API’s limitations. This collaborative approach results in current, detailed map data that developers can use for a range of applications. The Routing API is designed to compute the most efficient route between two or more locations by taking into account factors such as distance, time, and mode of transportation. This API is of paramount importance for transportation, logistics, and navigation applications, as it assists users in discovering the most effective routes and can even incorporate real-time traffic conditions. When a company specializing in indoor radon monitoring systems requested a solution for processing global IoT device data in real-time, Mapbox was the answer.

  • Both of the services are free up to an extent and after that, they start charging.
  • Most people are already familiar with the map from Google, so your users will feel comfortable.
  • It is particularly advantageous in regions with inadequate or nonexistent commercial mapping coverage.
  • The service is unique in that it lets developers add their own data about obscure regions.
  • This allows building beautiful experiences and drive engagement in consumer apps.
  • However, licensing and usage restrictions may limit those who seek full control over their mapping data.

Google has access to huge data streams that no ordinary company can afford access to. For instance, ETA is a function of numerous variables like terrain information, average speed data, real time traffic data, weather etc, which is why, it is more accurate for Google than Mapbox. Further, OpenStreetMaps does not have a robust database for developing countries, say Israel or India, such that the information displayed on 4th or 5th zoom level are insufficient. Usually, its strength in developed countries is urban locale and rarely the terrain outside it. You can check Mapbox documentation for guides, API references, and examples of integrating map functionality into software applications.

Note that when considering Mapbox pricing vs Google Maps’ pricing, you will need to take into account any costs for the developers’ work implementing an API and customising the maps. It can be incredibly annoying to users when an app stops functioning the moment they lose internet connection. With respect to this issue, many services have been working on expanding the boundaries for offline users. Any location-aware application needs, before anything else, straightforward map data. Chief among the challenges is limited coverage, which likely traces back to Mapbox’s reliance on open sourcing mapping through OpenStreetMap and volunteer mappers for data and updates.

Is Mapbox cheaper?

Choosing between Mapbox vs. Google Maps depends on a project's specific needs. Mapbox provides more customization options and a more affordable pricing structure, which can be attractive for smaller businesses and developers.

For smaller sized projects without an enterprise-level contract, this move by Google will probably serve, if it hasn’t already, as motivation to search for alternatives. Sometimes, there is too much geodata a an app project has to deal with. When there are too many markers on the map they can overlap and distract.

Depending on your usage level of display maps and geocoding, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by using BatchGeo. In addition, your maps will automatically include handy tools you’d otherwise need to code yourself. BatchGeo pricing is inclusive of both map views and geocodes, with the larger usage determining the price. That can make the already-inexpensive BatchGeo look even more affordable. In the next section, you’ll see what else is included in the BatchGeo Pro monthly pricing. BatchGeo provides an easier way to embed maps on the web without writing any code.

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