I don't begrudge Google for charging for their maps, but our needs were actually fairly modest. We didn't need any of the fancier features like driving directions, traffic, streetview, or 3D buildings; we mainly needed to show the location of airplanes. At the same time, we had spent a lot of time modifying and extending the Google Map API to add our own layers for things like weather and airplane routes. We had even developed our own basemap for some of our apps. But like many companies, we had started using Google Maps when it was the only game in town and had never looked around later to see if there was something else that would fit our needs.
|The Top Seven Alternative to the Google Maps API|
You can read this article at:
For basemaps, we had one that we had built ourselves, but we also found that there are a wealth of free maps out there. The Google basemaps are mainly designed for automobiles, but we found maps that were better for displaying our information (mostly by having less detail in the basemap itself, making it easier to see flight positions or weather overlays).
I knew we had done the right thing when Google announced that they were lowering their price by 88%. I asked around if anyone regretted the effort we spent moving to a new API and maps. The answer was no.
I really want to thank Google for inventing the technology that allowed people and companies like us to create interactive map applications. But now I'm really happy that there is some competition and variety, so we can pick the API and maps that are most suitable for what we are trying to do.