March 9, 2012

OpenStreetMap vs Google Maps

OpenStreetMap vs Google Maps.

If you are looking to add maps on your website, in your web or mobile service, which map service should you use, OpenStreetMap or Google Maps?

Maps of Google’s HQ - 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA - are shown above in both OpenStreetMap and Google Maps.

Google Maps are prettier and show more detail. They also have useful map layers such as traffic. But Google Maps is only free for light usage. Google Map pricing shows that for heavy usage, the charges can really add up.

The big plus of OpenStreetMap data is that it is free. And, if you want prettier maps with OpenStreetMap data, you can use a service such as Mapbox. MapBox prices are lower than Google Maps prices (above).

FourSquare and Apple have both recently switched to using OpenStreetMap data, with FourSquare also using MapBox.

Tags: openstreetmap, open source maps, openstreetmap or google maps, maps for website, maps for web service, maps for mobile service, maps used by foursquare, maps used by apple iphoto