Google Maps vs OSRM

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Google Maps vs OSRM: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Google Maps and OSRM

Google Maps and OSRM (Open Source Routing Machine) are two popular routing services that provide geolocation and navigation solutions. While they both offer similar functionalities, there are several key differences between them.

  1. Coverage: Google Maps has extensive global coverage and includes a wide range of locations worldwide. On the other hand, OSRM primarily focuses on Europe and has limited coverage in other regions. Thus, if you require routing services specifically for Europe, OSRM may be a better fit, whereas Google Maps offers worldwide coverage.

  2. Data Source: Google Maps primarily uses its proprietary data for routing and navigation services. It incorporates a vast amount of data from various sources, including businesses, traffic information, and user contributions. OSRM, on the other hand, relies on open-source data, which is community-driven and can be more up-to-date in certain areas. Therefore, if you prefer open-source data, OSRM may be more suitable for your needs.

  3. Customization and Flexibility: Google Maps provides a range of APIs and tools that allow for extensive customization, integration with other services, and the development of complex applications. It offers various features like transit directions, real-time traffic updates, and street view. OSRM, being an open-source routing engine, allows for customization and integration too; however, it may require more technical expertise for advanced implementation compared to Google Maps.

  4. Pricing Model: Google Maps offers a freemium pricing model, where certain usage limits are available for free, and higher usage requires payment. The pricing structure includes various plans based on usage and features required. On the other hand, OSRM is open source and free to use. However, if you decide to use OSRM extensively, you may need to invest in infrastructure to host and manage the routing engine yourself.

  5. Real-time Updates: Google Maps provides real-time traffic information, which helps users avoid congestion and find the fastest routes. It utilizes historical and real-time data to provide accurate estimations. OSRM, in its basic form, does not offer real-time updates. However, developers can integrate external traffic data sources into OSRM to provide similar functionality.

  6. POI Integration: Google Maps provides extensive integration with Points of Interest (POI) data, including businesses, landmarks, and other relevant locations. It enables users to search for specific places, view reviews, and obtain information about various establishments. OSRM, being primarily a routing engine, does not emphasize POI integration as extensively. While it can be implemented, it may require additional development efforts.

In summary, Google Maps offers broader global coverage, utilizes proprietary data, has extensive customization options, follows a freemium pricing model, provides real-time traffic updates, and offers rich POI integration. On the other hand, OSRM specializes in Europe, relies on open-source data, requires more technical expertise for customization, is free to use, offers limited real-time updates but can be integrated, and has fewer built-in POI features.

Advice on Google Maps and OSRM

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)

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 · 166.2K views
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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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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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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Its open source and we use it.

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Fabio Fraga Machado

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 OSRM
  • 253
  • 136
    Address input through maps api
  • 81
    Sharable Directions
  • 47
    Google Earth
  • 46
  • 3
    Custom maps designing
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    Cons of Google Maps
    Cons of OSRM
    • 4
      Google Attributions and logo
    • 1
      Only map allowed alongside google place autocomplete
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      - 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 OSRM?

      It is a C++ implementation of a high-performance routing engine for shortest paths in road networks

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

      What companies use Google Maps?
      What companies use OSRM?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Google Maps or OSRM.
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      What tools integrate with Google Maps?
      What tools integrate with OSRM?

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      What are some alternatives to Google Maps and OSRM?
      We make it possible to pin travel spots on Pinterest, find restaurants on Foursquare, and visualize data on GitHub.
      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.
      It is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation, real-time traffic info and services.
      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 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