Google Maps API has become so entrenched in developer minds, that if you are looking for a mapping feature in your application, you did not look beyond them. But ever since Google announced its pricing last year, websites that have a large number of visitors have been disappointed with the potential fees that they will have to shell out for the services. These websites have responded in typical fashion and they are looking for alternate solutions. This definitely means good news to developers since having competitive choices is a positive thing.
Earlier this year, we covered how Google’s Map Pricing led to StreetEasy choosing from various Open Source alternative to build their own Mapping solution. We know now of one more case, AllTrails, an online network for outdoor enthusiasts. The ReadWriteWeb report details how AllTrails decided to look for alternative solutions after Google announced its pricing.
What is interesting to note is that it is not just pricing alone that has influenced the decision. The quality of terrain data, especially in the wilderness was an area that AllTrails felt Google Maps came up a bit short. The Alternative? National Geographic’s TOPO, which is now integrated into AllTrails' site for overlaying detailed topographic maps of the terrain.
Under the new pricing of Google Maps, web applications still get 25,000 free map views per day. This might suffice for most websites for now but we are seeing an increasing number of heavily trafficked map sites beginning their exodus away from Google. We believe that various Open Source Map initiatives will receive the momentum due to this.
If you run a website that is likely to cross the free usage limits of Google Maps, we would love to hear from you on your strategy ahead.