What map engine choose when Google Maps crashed? 3 best alternatives

This page can’t load Google Maps correctly” or “For development purposes only“…
Sound familiar to you?

To be honest with you I was never a big fan of Google Maps and its API. It was never as elastic as competitive solutions.

So if you considering switching your project I prepared for you est alternatives, based on Open Street Maps project:

 

 Leaflet

Leaflet is my number 1 choice. Really easy to integrate and to interact with. Strong community support, easy to write any extensions . I used it nearly everywhere – in Vanilla JS projects, offline maps, interactive maps in crossplatform apps…

Besides it’s totally free for use it’s open-source as well. The project has strong community support and tons of plugins and integrations.

 

Mapbox

Mapbox is also friendly but more sophisticated tool. It has its own SDK and tiles servers as well as bunch of API services such as routing, geocoding, navigation. Besides of its JS or iOS SDK it has its powerful web tool – Mapbox Studio.

Its not totally free but there are quite reasonable pay-as-you-go pricing plans and free tier for small usage. Good choice both for simple and enterprise-class solutions. If you’re looking for something stable but still customizable you should definitely go for it. Lots of out-of-box solutions, good documentations with great examples plus you don’t need need to integrate external plugins like in Leaflet.

OpenLayers

Yet another open-source library based on OpenStreetMap. Again – it’s really easy to integrate for simple purposes and pretty well documented.
To be honest I didn’t use it in production environment. Basically it’s more flexible than Leaflet or MapBox. On the other hand they’re much simpler and straightforward. OpenLayers is well-proven and ready to cooperate with other GIS tools like GeoServer or PostGIS. Try it yourself!

 

Other alternatives – professional and embedded

If you’d like to go deeply into GIS and you’re looking for more professional solutions then definitely you should try ArcGIS from Esri or CartoDB.

Besides of OpenStreetMap related technologies there are other map solutions gaining popularity recently. For example Apple Maps which is still improving their quality and being used more and more widely. It has been used by DuckDuckGo search engine. For example: search engine DuckDuckGo. It has its own MapKit JS SDK but requires some authorization to use it.

Another good solution is HERE Maps. It has their JavaScript SDK (requires API key). It is being widely used by Microsoft’s Bing Maps. By the way they’re using couple of other HERE Platform solutions underneath.

Summary

What to choose to replace crashed Google Maps in your app? Well, the simplest solution is just to pay them for you API plan.
But if you consider to rewrite things completely or you’re just starting the new project then you can consider other approaches.
At first define your needs and project scope. For most of consumer use cases I’d go for Leaflet. When it’d be enterprise and we’ll need some extra out-of-box services like geocoding, routing I’d really consider to use MapBox. The choice is yours.

Good luck!

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