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Moving away from Google Maps

A while back I wrote about Google Maps charging.  This caused an uproar around many map dependent sites.   (Brian Timoney, ever reliable, delivers snark on that front.)

I, for one, don’t begrudge Google the chance to charge for their excellent product.  What that does, however, is make certain business models that were previously viable now unviable.  That is, if they remain with Google Maps.  In my previous post, I went over some alternatives.

The company I work for, after evaluating all the alternatives, including paying Google for a license, has decided to go with Mapquest.  While the API is not as gorgeously documented (both on the company site and on the web), it has the same licensure as Google Maps used to (free for any publicly accessible website), with much of the same base functionality.

I’ll be very interested to see how many people are doing such high value work with Google maps that they can afford to pay for licenses or per use.

2 thoughts on “Moving away from Google Maps

  1. Brian Timoney says:

    Reliable deliverer of snark here–

    Here’s the most extensive review of a site breaking down the numbers for using Google Maps: really good insight here

    For areas of limited geography (say a metro area), give some thought to “rolling your own tile set” using Open Street Map data. The new TileMill map authoring tool makes it easier than ever to create a custom look and feel without all of the technical overhead of past tools.

    Brian Timoney

  2. moore says:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the link. I evaluated moving to Leaflet with OSM or Mapquest Open. I guess it comes down to how you want to differentiate yourself. 8z is trying to do that with (among other things) content. These folks seem to be trying to do it with maps; after all, they *built* their own geocoding service….

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