Choose the Right Maps API for Your Online Delivery App

As directions become more automatic, digital maps are erasing the barriers between navigating real and virtual places.

Along with the technological advancements, digital maps had entered into the path of online delivery apps or on-demand apps with APIs. 

Starting a Delivery Business

If you have a challenging new business idea of an online delivery business then in this era that might be a good fit for you. Starting your own online delivery business is a great way to become your own boss. 

If you are in search of how to start an online delivery business, before that you need to know what all does this business required. As we know that many niche markets are in need of reliable delivery services, online delivery apps can help both service providers and customers. 

Delivery service is responsible to deliver all types of packages and items at the right time. The customer and service provider will check for their delivery time and delivered time. The product delivery can’t be get delayed because of any route issues or other map issues. 

Directions API and Distance API are the two major API’s using in online delivery app. The major benefits are:

  • It reduces the travel time 
  • Save purchase time
  • Helps to plan simple routes

It helped both the service providers and customers to know about navigation and delivery details. Thus digital maps have become an essential part of our life and made it much easier.  

Factors to consider before choosing your Maps API

Let’s consider Google Maps and Mapbox

For those who are in search of the right mapping service, Google Maps will be the one that comes up in the mind as it is the first mapping service in the world. Soon it reaps the trust of three great platforms – Android, iOS and Web.

The API integration is easier in Google Maps and it serves many use cases like provides location-based service for travel services and navigation for logistics platforms. 

On the other hand, Mapbox is a custom-designed map provider for mobile apps and websites. Mapbox is offering advanced features like Augmented Reality and Geospatial Mapping. Mapbox is also providing different APIs for web mapping services like Directions API, Geocoding API, and Static Images API.

Here are some factors that will help you to decide which API you need to choose for your service. 

  • The number of app users:

Before you search for the best Maps API for the service, you need to search for the number of users on that particular platform. There are daily limits for free views in Google Maps, It is up to 25,000 map views. When you cross the limit then you have to pay to access that platform.

  • Pricing:

Once you analyze the number of users, the next one you have to consider is pricing. While considering the pricing of Google Maps and Mapbox are partially free. Either you can go with free API or pay as per your service requirements. 

  • Documentation:

For developers, the guide to generate API and integrating maps in the app on the side of admin, customer, and service provider is different in each Map API provider.  

  • Ease of Use:

Make sure that your service providers can easily use the map feature and check how the map view is generated and is there an option for drivers to re-route. Also, check the chosen Map API is providing an option to customize. 

What all things a Map can do for you through mobile?

  • Get transportation directions
  • Creating a map
  • Measuring distance and ETA
  • Mixing maps information
  • Finding your location
  • Setting routes
  • Getting traffic information
  • Verbal instructions
  • Location sharing and editing

Digital Mapping Components for Android / iOS App

Turn by Turn Navigation: It helps the service provider to follow the map directions and to reach the location of the customer quickly and efficiently.

Real-Time Tracking: The admin is able to track the driver’s location in real-time. At the same time, a service provider and a customer can also track the details of location and delivery details. This is the main feature of the on-demand app. 

Expected Arrival Time: The expected time is calculated according to the route taken by the service provider. This will help the customers to find the expected time of the service provider. 

Traffic Updates: If there are any traffic problems then the Map API will re-route the driver. This will provide traffic updates to the customer and admin and they can track the service provider in real-time. 

Google Map API Features 

  • Street view with Panorama 
  • Heat Maps
  • Style Maps
  • Ground Overlay
  • Indoor Maps
  • Marker Clustering
  • Multiple Maps
  • Animation
  • Circles (Area around us)
  • Auto Latitude and Longitude

Pros of using Google Maps

  • Best Information: Google has lots of information because of Google’s geographical coverage. 
  • Multiple Style Options: You can manage the visibility, color, and opacity of all map elements
  • Street View: Interactive panoramas from different positions
  • Language Support: Google Maps supports many languages
  • Information Support: Multiple developers are providing support

Cons of using Google Maps

  • Limited Accuracy
  • Location information can be misused
  • Limited routes
  • Tougher accessibility 

Mapbox Use Cases

  • Asset Tracking
  • Data Preparation
  • Situational Awareness
  • Content Tagging 
  • Store Locator
  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation
  • On-demand Logistics
  • Data Visualization

Pros of using Mapbox

  • Unique Customization: Mapbox is more customizable than Google Maps.  
  • Open-source SDK: Mapbox map SDK’s are open-source
  • Mapbox AR: Allows for building location-based experiences using POI’s
  • Offline Maps: Mapbox provides more flexibility regarding its offline mode. 

Cons of using Mapbox

  • System is too complex
  • Not a free service
  • Strict data standardization
  • Steep learning curve for developers

Price Comparison of Google Maps and Mapbox

Google has reduced its map view limit while Mapbox is providing 50,000 free map views a month. Google Maps raised the price of the dynamic map API from $0.50 to $0.700 per 1000 loads. But, In Mapbox after 50,000 map views and for the next 1000 views its costs only $0.5. 

It also provides custom pricing for enterprise volumes and its free plan has tileset storage and dataset storage of 50GB and 5 GB. The significant difference between Google Maps and Mapbox makes people choose the Mapbox API. 

How to choose the Map API?

Now, you got an idea about Google Maps and Mapbox. Both have equal functionalities and advantages. The main thing you need to consider is, does it suit your business needs? 

Here are some questions for you to think: 

What type of business you are running?

  • Street-based retail service
  • Tour planner app
  • Logistics app
  • On-demand app
  • Gaming app

What is the size of your business?

If your website is small or your app doesn’t need maps then you don’t want to worry about it. For startups that use maps a lot in their app then you can go for Mapbox. 

Wrap-up

It’s all up to you to decide which service you should use for your business. If you have decided to switch from Google Maps to Mapbox then there is good news for you.

We know that both the services have similar data sources and features, because of that it’s easy to switch from Google Maps to Mapbox. If you need an API with efficient tracking, re-routing and real-time updates then Google Map API is best to use.  

We have an enterprise solution for last-mile delivery.

Author: Mariya Parackal

I’m the marketing manager at Locologic, my works are focused on mobile and web technology. I research and write about tech like cloud computing, augmented reality, Internet of things, artificial intelligence, startups, and entrepreneurship.

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