Google Maps vs Leaflet vs OpenLayers

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Google Maps

40.7K
28.3K
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Leaflet

1.4K
1.1K
+ 1
108
OpenLayers

575
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+ 1
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Google Maps vs Leaflet vs OpenLayers: What are the differences?

Introduction:

Google Maps, Leaflet, and OpenLayers are JavaScript libraries that provide interactive map functionality for websites. While they all offer similar features, there are key differences between them that can impact your choice of which library to use.

  1. Pricing and Licensing: One of the main differences between Google Maps and Leaflet/OpenLayers is the pricing and licensing model. Google Maps has a pricing structure based on usage, with free and premium tiers available. In contrast, Leaflet and OpenLayers are open-source libraries that are free to use and do not have any associated licensing costs.

  2. Map Data Sources: Another difference lies in the map data sources that each library utilizes. Google Maps primarily uses its own proprietary data, which is regularly updated and comprehensive. On the other hand, Leaflet and OpenLayers allow you to use a variety of map providers, including OpenStreetMap and third-party providers. This offers more flexibility and customization options, especially if you have specific data requirements.

  3. Customization and Styling: While Google Maps provides various customization options, Leaflet and OpenLayers offer more extensive control over the appearance and styling of maps. Both libraries allow you to easily customize markers, layers, and overlays, as well as apply different tile layers and base maps. This flexibility can be beneficial if you have specific branding or design requirements for your maps.

  4. API and Documentation: The APIs and documentation for Google Maps and Leaflet/OpenLayers differ in terms of ease of use and learning curve. Google Maps has a well-documented API with extensive resources and clear examples, making it relatively easy to get started. Leaflet and OpenLayers also provide comprehensive documentation, but they may require a slightly steeper learning curve, especially for beginners with minimal experience in web mapping.

  5. Integration and Compatibility: Google Maps has native integration with other Google services, such as Google Places and Street View, which can be useful if you want to leverage these additional features. On the other hand, Leaflet and OpenLayers are more flexible in terms of integration with various third-party libraries, frameworks, and plugins. This allows for more customization and integration possibilities, depending on your specific needs.

  6. Performance and Loading Speed: The performance and loading speed of maps rendered using these libraries can also vary. Google Maps has a built-in caching mechanism and data loading optimizations, which can result in faster loading times. Leaflet and OpenLayers, being open-source libraries, may require some additional optimization efforts to achieve similar performance levels, especially when dealing with large and complex datasets.

In Summary, while Google Maps offers a user-friendly interface and extensive built-in features, Leaflet and OpenLayers provide greater flexibility, customization options, and compatibility with various map providers and libraries. The choice between these libraries depends on factors such as pricing, data sources, customization needs, integration requirements, ease of use, and performance considerations.

Advice on Google Maps, Leaflet, and OpenLayers
  1. I would like to input a spreadsheet with names and associated addresses into a map program to; pinpoint all of the locations on a map. How can I do that? On which map? Are there field size limitations? All help would be appreciated.

  2. There is a subdivision that is about one(1) mile by 3/4 mile in size. Is there a map program that would create the most efficient way to drive all of the streets in the subdivision without a lot of doubling back?

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Replies (1)

You could use a low-code platform to read the spreadsheet and use them as input for the pin pointing. The most expert provider would HERE or TomTom for the best routing algoritmes. Input parameters would be dependent on the chosen provider.

I see your stack is mostly Google and I am not familiar with that. But we have implemented this through the M365 Teams/SharePoint, Excell, MS PowerPlatform, our WMS and Azure.

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From a StackShare Community member: "We're a team of two starting to write a mobile app. The app will heavily rely on maps and this is where my partner and I are not seeing eye-to-eye. I would like to go with an open source solution like OpenStreetMap that is used by Apple & Foursquare. He would like to go with Google Maps since more apps use it and has better support (according to him). Mapbox is also an option but I don’t know much about it."

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Replies (6)
Recommends
on
MapboxMapbox

I use Mapbox because We need 3D maps and navigation, it has a great plugin for React and React Native which we use. Also the Mapbox Geocoder is great.

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Blair Gemmer
Software Engineer at VYNYL · | 2 upvotes · 165.6K views
Recommends
on
Google MapsGoogle Maps

Google Maps is best because it is practically free (they give you $300 in free credits per month and it's really hard to go over the free tier unless you really mean business) and it's the best!

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Recommends
on
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap

I use OpenStreetMap because that has a strong community. It takes some time to catch up with Google Maps, but OpenStreetMap will become great solution.

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Shuuji TAKAHASHI
Recommends
on
Google MapsGoogle Maps

I use Google Maps because it has a lot of great features such as Google's rich APIs, geolocation functions, navigation search feature, street map view, auto-generated 3D city map.

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Recommends
on
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap

Its open source and we use it.

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Fabio Fraga Machado
Recommends
on
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap

I use OpenStreetMap because i have the control of the environment, using Docker containers or bare-metal servers.

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Pros of Google Maps
Pros of Leaflet
Pros of OpenLayers
  • 253
    Free
  • 136
    Address input through maps api
  • 81
    Sharable Directions
  • 47
    Google Earth
  • 46
    Unique
  • 3
    Custom maps designing
  • 33
    Light weight
  • 28
    Free
  • 12
    Evolutive via plugins
  • 10
    OpenStreetMap
  • 9
    Strong community
  • 7
    Choice of map providers
  • 6
    Easy API
  • 3
    Alternative to Google Maps
  • 15
    Flexibility
  • 11
    Maturity
  • 8
    Open Source
  • 7
    Incredibly comprehensive, excellent support
  • 4
    Extensible
  • 4
    Strong community
  • 4
    Choice of map providers
  • 3
    Low Level API
  • 1
    OpenStreetMap

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Cons of Google Maps
Cons of Leaflet
Cons of OpenLayers
  • 4
    Google Attributions and logo
  • 1
    Only map allowed alongside google place autocomplete
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      - No public GitHub repository available -
      - No public GitHub repository available -

      What is Google Maps?

      Create rich applications and stunning visualisations of your data, leveraging the comprehensiveness, accuracy, and usability of Google Maps and a modern web platform that scales as you grow.

      What is Leaflet?

      Leaflet is an open source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps. It is developed by Vladimir Agafonkin of MapBox with a team of dedicated contributors. Weighing just about 30 KB of gzipped JS code, it has all the features most developers ever need for online maps.

      What is OpenLayers?

      An opensource javascript library to load, display and render maps from multiple sources on web pages.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      What companies use Google Maps?
      What companies use Leaflet?
      What companies use OpenLayers?

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      What tools integrate with Google Maps?
      What tools integrate with Leaflet?
      What tools integrate with OpenLayers?

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      Blog Posts

      JavaScriptGitHubNode.js+26
      20
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      What are some alternatives to Google Maps, Leaflet, and OpenLayers?
      Mapbox
      We make it possible to pin travel spots on Pinterest, find restaurants on Foursquare, and visualize data on GitHub.
      OpenStreetMap
      OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.
      TomTom
      It is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation, real-time traffic info and services.
      JavaScript
      JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
      Git
      Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
      See all alternatives