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Leaflet vs OpenStreetMap: What are the differences?

Developers describe Leaflet as "JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps". 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. On the other hand, OpenStreetMap is detailed as "The free editable map of the whole world". 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.

Leaflet and OpenStreetMap can be categorized as "Mapping APIs" tools.

Some of the features offered by Leaflet are:

  • Tile layers
  • Drag panning with inertia
  • Scroll wheel zoom

On the other hand, OpenStreetMap provides the following key features:

  • Local Knowledge
  • Community Driven
  • Open Data

"Light weight" is the primary reason why developers consider Leaflet over the competitors, whereas "Simple" was stated as the key factor in picking OpenStreetMap.

Leaflet is an open source tool with 25.1K GitHub stars and 4.09K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Leaflet's open source repository on GitHub.

Foursquare, DNT, and Arabiaweather Inc. are some of the popular companies that use Leaflet, whereas OpenStreetMap is used by Foursquare, Apple, and MapLarge. Leaflet has a broader approval, being mentioned in 73 company stacks & 35 developers stacks; compared to OpenStreetMap, which is listed in 37 company stacks and 15 developer stacks.

Advice on Leaflet and OpenStreetMap
  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)

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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Blair Gemmer
Software Engineer at VYNYL · | 2 upvotes · 145.5K 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 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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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 Leaflet
Pros of OpenStreetMap
  • 32
    Light weight
  • 28
  • 12
    Evolutive via plugins
  • 10
  • 9
    Strong community
  • 7
    Choice of map providers
  • 6
    Easy API
  • 3
    Alternative to Google Maps
  • 22
  • 17
  • 9
  • 7
  • 1
    React/ RNative integration

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What companies use Leaflet?
What companies use OpenStreetMap?
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What tools integrate with Leaflet?
What tools integrate with OpenStreetMap?
What are some alternatives to Leaflet and OpenStreetMap?
An opensource javascript library to load, display and render maps from multiple sources on web pages.
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.
We make it possible to pin travel spots on Pinterest, find restaurants on Foursquare, and visualize data on GitHub.
Leaf is a Machine Intelligence Framework engineered by software developers, not scientists. It was inspired by the brilliant people behind TensorFlow, Torch, Caffe, Rust and numerous research papers and brings modularity, performance and portability to deep learning. Leaf is lean and tries to introduce minimal technical debt to your stack.
It is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. Emphasises on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework.
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