Mapbox Vs Google Maps: Which One to Choose

With so many services provided online, location is very important. Location is necessary to provide these services satisfactorily and for the application to work fully. With the availability of different mapping tools, including a map has become very easy. The trick is to pick the tool that meets the needs and preferences.

A famous map app is Google Maps. It is so popular that it has won a virtual monopoly in the internet mapping world. No wonder then that many API developers have used Google Maps to functionalize their websites.

The problem with monopoly software is that more and more developers start to depend on it for their needs. This results in an increase in price and a stark reduction in the credit of free API calls.

With the development of these obstacles, developers are looking for good alternatives for Google Maps. An increasingly popular alternative is Mapbox. This article compares Mapbox vs. Google Maps on their respective characteristics.

Mapbox

It is clear why Mapbox has the potential to compete with Google Maps. It is well developed, with flexible mapping options and integration into iOS and Android SDK mobile app software. Mapbox gives access to a complete set of location information.

The included tileset function allows the user to create and customize dynamic and static maps. After customizing, the maps can be embedded into a website or application with the help of the JavaScript library.

Mapbox is supported by an international community of voluntary mappers. They ensure that the data is open and freely available. The active community releases new updates regularly and maintains location data up to date. Mapbox uses different sources for their data. These sources include Landsat, Natural Earth, OpenAddress, OpenStreetMap, and USGS.

OpenStreetMap formed the technological inspiration for Mapbox. During the development, customizability was kept to the fore. A map editor called TileMill is included in Mapbox. It has a straightforward user interface.

Mapbox uses different components. These include GDAL, a translator library for geospatial data formats; Leaflet, a JavaScripts library of interactive maps; Mapnik, an open-source toolkit for rendering maps; and Node.js language.

Some of Mapbox’ strong points are:

  • Can be used offline, thanks to Vector Maps.
  • Cross-browser compatibility.
  • Esthetically appealing maps.
  • Free for 50,000 web loads and up to 25,000 users.
  • A higher level of customizability than Google Maps.
  • SDK is open source. Code is shared on GitHub.
  • Well documented.

Some of Mapbox’ weak points are:

  • Additional cost for many features.
  • Complicated.
  • Disruption of background processes.
  • Impractical for small projects.
  • Non-customizable API.
  • Weak coverage in some places.

Examples of businesses that can benefit from Mapbox are:

  • On-demand delivery. The GPS navigation feature helps a courier to find the delivery address.
  • Gaming. With Mapbox realistic virtual worlds and 3D maps can be created.
  • Live events. Mapbox used real-time data. Organizers can track assets that are on their way, using interactive maps.

Google Maps

Google Maps employs a commonly used SDK. Many are therefore familiar with it and this has increased its popularity. It has become the most used SDK for embedding maps. It has an extensive database of locations and routes. It also includes other features, like geocoding, location information, pictures, and routing.

The use of Google Maps is without cost. Additional features, like displaying places together with their address and other details, do have a cost. The maps’ appearance can be changed using the following website: https://mapstyle.withgoogle.com/. The use of this website does not require any developing background.

Google has access to large data streams that add many features to the app. Access, use, and processing of this huge amount of data is expensive and therefore not an option for most other companies.

Google Maps, for example, has an ETA function that is calculated using many variables. It considers average speed, current traffic conditions, terrain, and weather conditions, and more. This makes the estimated time much more accurate than Mapbox’.

Some of Google Maps’ strong points are:

  • A large community and many developers providing support.
  • The best geographical coverage. It includes information from satellites, Street View vehicles, and user-generated corrections.
  • Many style options. Google Maps uses JSON-like syntax, which allows the user to change different map elements. These elements include color, opacity, and visibility.
  • Geocoding: a process to convert geographic coordinates into a practical address form. The process also works the other way round.
  • Street View. The user can enjoy interactive views of streets all over the world.
  • Visual customization.
  • Broad language support.

Some of Google Maps’ weak points include:

  • Complicated pricing scheme. To bind customers, Google offers monthly API credit of $200. When the credit is used up, Google starts charging.
  • Strict quota limitation on the free plan. The free option allows only ten queries per second.
  • App freezes briefly upon first rendering.
  • Energy inefficient. Improvements are needed to improve battery life.
  • Google Maps does not work offline. The Google Maps app is available offline, but API is not. This hampers integration into other products.
  • Static shapes and map markers.
  • Expensive routing.
  • Not open source.

Examples of businesses that can benefit from Google Maps are:

  • Businesses with physical locations. With Street View, customers can take a tour through a business’s physical location.
  • Travel planning application. Users can plan an upcoming trip with Google Places. 3D imagery gives information and an idea of the locations.
  • Navigation apps. The real-time data and the associated algorithm predict routes and ETAs based on current traffic flow.

If you like Google Maps, make sure to check out MapSVG. It offers integration with Google Maps. Users that have Google API keys can import locations, for example as lat/lon address, from a CSV file. With MapSVG it is possible to enable Google Maps, search for locations, and much more.

MapSVG maps are geo-calibrated, which makes it possible to add markers through an address or coordinates. Various special maps are included.

For example, it contains a combined map of the United States and Canada. It features maps of each US state, with their counties. Maps of Africa, Asia, and Europe can be found as well.

Mapbox and Google Maps Pricing

Many clients first look at the price, rather than the advanced features of a software choice. Since Google has recently increased the price of their Mapping API, other players are starting to take over the market.

The advantage of Mapbox vs Google Maps is that Mapbox offers 50,000 map loads at no additional cost. Comparing the two options shows that all Mapbox extra features are cheaper than Google’s. Google Maps charges $7.00 for 100,000 loads, whereas Mapbox charges only $5.00.

So, in terms of cost, it appears that Mapbox is the far better choice. But there are some things to consider in this regard. The volume discount mentioned above only becomes available after the client reaches one million loads. And the credit is not available for Mapbox users.

Even though Google Maps seems more expensive at first glance, it might turn out to be a more economic option. Google’s big plus is the credit they give away.

It takes some careful analysis for every individual organization to figure out what the best choice is. Mapbox’s costs may be lower, but Google delivers more data and includes credit in their subscriptions.

Something to keep in mind when deciding on Mapbox vs Google Maps pricing is the work of the developers. They put effort and money into making a functional API and customizing maps.

Associated Services

Google Maps API is a complete package. It includes a variety of services, like Business, Satellite Imagery, and Street View. All these features add to the usefulness of this map API. As yet, Mapbox still needs to develop and include add-ons.

Mapbox aims to provide an open-source platform that is customizable by default. The data from OpenStreetMap that is employed by Mapbox is open-source as well. The Mapbox API is also integrable with other open-source software and media.

Keeping that in mind, the customizability options are endless. TileMill, which is the built-in map editor, uses Mapnik technology for fonts and colors. Carto is used for mapping and spatial analysis.

Of course, also Google offers many APIs. These include Autocomplete, Places, and predictions.

Map Markers Features

Markers are very useful for highlighting locations. However, when many markers are close together on a map, it becomes challenging to read or to use the map. A solution for this is to group markers.

An analysis of the Mapbox vs Google Maps marker grouping feature shows that, in a technical sense, Google’s was more practical.

In the case of Mapbox, using this feature was far more tedious and time-consuming. This would be something else to consider when deciding between the two.

A feature that is very practical and available in both Mapbox and Google Maps, is the small information box that pops up when hovering over a pin. Both options also generate connected lists of all the markers and their locations.

Other Common Features

Google Maps and Mapbox share a couple of functionalities. The following list summarizes a few of them:

  • Easy interface customization. Both Mapbox and Google Maps contain visual styling editors.
  • Satellite imagery. Google Maps initiated this technology, but Mapbox is following in its footsteps. The Mapbox satellite images can be used to overlay data. It also incorporates vector data from Mapbox Streets.
  • Both JavaScript API have autosuggest built-in. Both mapping solutions allow for searches for locations and businesses using specified parameters.

Verdict on Mapbox vs Google Maps

At first glance, Mapbox appears the winner because of its lower-priced plans, but there are other factors to consider. For instance, Mapbox is harder to understand and its architecture is not as straightforward. These are factors that can make businesses refrain from buying it.

Google Maps is the biggest mapping solution available and it seems to maintain that position. Careful consideration shows that its plans are still very competitive, but it has other advantages over its competitors.

It excels in accuracy, availability, and extensive area coverage, and a vast amount of additional data. When zooming in Google Maps can provide much more detail than, for example, Mapbox.

Google Maps gives more than maps and location services. It is integrated into a large web of other applications, such as Google Places and Google Business.

The real-time accuracy gives businesses many added advantages. For many enterprises, Google Maps is therefore still the number one choice when it comes to API needs.

To conclude, websites that mainly rely on maps and attract many visitors, should consider choosing  Mapbox.

For less frequented websites, or websites with static maps, the increase in Google Maps prices is not a big concern. For them, it is unlikely that the free API calls are not likely exceeded.

If you liked this article about Mapbox vs Google Maps, you should also check out this article about free mapping software.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like indoor mapping, WordPress Google Maps plugins, Mapbox alternatives, online mapping tools, OpenLayers vs Leaflet, and Mapbox vs Leaflet.

A bit obvious by now, but we really like maps so we wrote even more about subjects like the blank map of Italy, Africa, Australia, and a few others, about websites with maps using interactive maps, and SVG animation examples.

Get the Best Blank Map Of Canada From This Curated List

This is a compilation of maps where whichever blank map of Canada you need is available. It includes maps of rivers and lakes, the coastline, the provinces and territories, maps with capitals starred, relief elevation of Canada, and more.

Canada – A Quick Country Overview

Canada is the second-largest country in the world, occupying an area of 9,984,670 sq km (or 3,855,103 sq mi). It is located in the northern part of North America.

It borders with the USA to the south, and the rest of the territory is encircled by three oceans- the Atlantic in the east, the Arctic Ocean in the north, and the Pacific in the west.

The capital is Ottawa, and there are two official languages: English and French. Over 81% of the 37,512,000 inhabitants live in urban areas, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. The largest cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa.

The Head of State is the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The name of the country seems to originate with the Huron-Iroquois word ‘kanata’, which means “village” or “settlement”. The indigenous inhabitants were native Americans(the First Nations) and the Inuit peoples.

Provinces and Territories

Canada has two types of administrative divisions: provinces and territories.

Provinces receive their authority from the Constitution Act (1867). There are 10 provinces:  Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

Territories are empowered by the Parliament of Canada. The 3 territories include Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.

Interesting Facts

  • Canada is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries, despite its size. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the density of population is 4.2 per sq km (or 10.8 per sq mi)
  • Nine out of ten Canadians live in the US – Canada border region. This is an area covering 160 square kilometers/ 99 square miles.
  • About 1.4 million Canadians refer to themselves as belonging to the indigenous people.
  • Lakes and wetlands cover about 1/5 of Canada’s total area. These include the world’s largest surface of freshwater, The Great Lakes. They form part of the US border. There are also Great Bear and Great Slave lakes, and Manitoba and Winnipeg lakes.
  • The longest river is Mackenzie, with 4,241 kilometers (or 2,635 miles). St. Lawrence is the largest river flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Canada is the world leader in uranium mining. The largest uranium mine in the world is at Cigar Lake in northern Saskatchewan.
  • Canada has the longest coastline in the world made up of 52,455 islands across the area of 243,042 kilometers (151,019 miles).
  • The life expectancy in Canada is 79.3 years for men, and 84.5 years for women.
  • Canada’s border with the contiguous United States to the south and the U.S. state of Alaska to the northwest forms the longest border in the world not patrolled by military forces. It covers an area of 8,891 km (5,525 mi).
  • Three Canadian islands are among the top ten biggest islands by area in the world. They are: Baffin Islands (507,451 sq km/195,928 sq mi ), Victoria Island (217,291 sq km/83,896 sq mi ) and Ellesmere Island (196,236 sq km/75,767 sq mi).
  • The highest mountain in Canada is Mount Logan with 5,959 m (19,551 ft). It is located in the Yukon Territory.
  • Canada is among the top ten countries with the world’s largest oil reserves. With under 170 billion barrels, it stands in the third position, which represents a 9.8% share of the global resource.

Curated List Of the Best Blank Maps Of Canada

Free blank SVG vector map of Canada

This map is created with MapSVG

You can download a blank vector map of Canada and make it interactive with the MapSVG WordPress map plugin. You can also use it in any custom project.

Blank Canada Map Colored

Blank map of Canada PNG image with transparent background

Blank Map of Canada with Longitudes

Blank map Provinces and territories of Canada transparent background PNG

Blank Map with Provinces, Territories, Capitals and Major City Names

This is a jpg map, and it will print out to make 8.5 x 11 blank Canada map.

Blank Map with Rivers

Boundaries, Provinces, Territories

Boundaries, Provinces, Territories, Names

Canada Blank Map

Canada Blank Map

Canada Blank Map, Red

Canada Blank Physical Map

Canada – Capitals Starred

 

Canada – Capitals Starred and Provinces Labeled

Canada – Capitals Starred, Provinces Numbered

Canada – Coastline Map

This map features only the coastline.

Canada – Provinces Outlined

Canada – Provinces Outlined and Labeled

Canada Map showing NTS Grid Coverage

Canada Map with Provinces

Canada Physiographic Regions

Canada Provinces and Territories Blank Map

Canada Provinces and Territories Labeled

Canada SVG Map

Canada with Province

This is a printable blank map with no names.

Coastline Map of Canada

Coastline Map of Canada with Latitudes

Colored Outline Map with Provinces

Hydrography Map of Canada

Main Rivers and Lakes of Canada

Multicolor Map of Canada

Outline Map of Canada

Outline Map of Canada (unlabeled)

Outline Map with Main Cities

Population Density Map of Canada

Printable Map of Canada

Provinces And Territories Of Canada Blank Map

Provinces of Canada

Relief Elevation Map of Canada

Simple Blank Map of Canada

If you enjoyed reading this article with blank maps of Canada, you should read these as well:

Download a Blank Map of Greece from This Collection

A blank map of Greece? Yes, we have that. Actually, more than one.

Blank maps can sometimes be quite hard to find. Typically a map is displayed with many of the area’s features already visible. However, what if you need a blank map for educational purposes?

Perhaps you want a blank map to create a more interactive geography experience. This can be used by students to shade in the distribution of an area’s population, raw materials, or industry. It can also be used to detail the locations of the country’s main cities, mountains, and rivers.

Whatever you need them for we have a variety of blank maps available to assist you with your personal study or lessons.

About Greece

Officially known as the ‘Hellenic Republic’, Greece boasts a vibrant history. It is widely considered the birthplace of western philosophy and culture. Greece was home to one of the earliest and most advanced human civilizations dating back to the Bronze Age.

Greece is geographically located in Southern Europe but politically it is considered to be part of Western Europe. Since 1981 Greece has been a member of the European Union.

The country spans an area of 131,957 square kilometers (50,948 square miles); with about a fifth of that area made up of around 1,500 islands. Greece occupies the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula extending into the Aegean, Cretan, Ionian, Mediterranean and Thracian seas.

Greece is divided into the 13 administrative regions:

  • Attica
  • Central Greece
  • Central Macedonia
  • Crete
  • East Macedonia and Thrace
  • Epirus
  • Ionian Islands
  • North Aegean
  • Peloponnese
  • South Aegean
  • Thessaly
  • West Greece
  • West Macedonia

A 14th region is Mount Athos, however, this is an autonomous region made up of a monastic community under Greek sovereignty.

Greece Facts

  • The legal name of Greece is the ‘Hellenic Republic’
  • The capital city of Greece is Athens
  • The total land area Greece covers is 131,957 sq km (50,948 sq mi) with a border stretching 1,110 km and 13,676 km of coastline.
  • Greece received independence from the Ottoman Empire on the 3rd of February, 1830 when the London Protocol was signed. This protocol recognized Greek independence by Great Britain, France, and Russia.          

Greek Geography

Greece is located in the southernmost part of Europe and has the longest coastline of any European country.

The majority of people living in Greece occupy its cities. Athens, the capital city, is the largest in Greece with a population of over 3.7 million.

Greece’s natural landscape comprises elevated hilly areas and mountainous regions. Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe.

To the west of the country are the Pindus mountains, which make up a stretch of the Dinaric Alps. Here the land rises above 2,500 meters. The Dinaric Alps house several lakes and rivers, creating a varied landscape of rocky heights and indented wetlands.

Greece’s most iconic and indeed largest mountain is Mount Olympus, which stands some 2,918 meters tall.

South-west of Olympus in Thessaly the impressive Meteora rock formations can be found. These impressive displays of natural phenomena appear, as the meaning of their name suggests, to be ‘suspended in the air’.

Away from mainland Greece are several island groups and Greece’s two largest islands; Crete and Evia.

Blank Map of Greece Downloads

On this page, you can find blank maps of Greece showing the outline of the country. There are multiple presentation options available for the context and legends of the maps. You can use these blank maps of Greece to test students or to provide a practical exercise to assist their learning and research.

Blank SVG vector map of Greece

This map is created with MapSVG

Download a blank vector map of Greece. Make the map interactive with the MapSVG WordPress map plugin or use it in any custom project.

Greece Coasts

Multicolor Map of Greece with Regions

Greek Coast with Borders

Flag Map of Greece

Outline Map of Greece with Neighbouring Countries

Regions of Greece Map

Electoral constituencies of Greece

Electoral constituencies of Greece since 2018 (Athens A and Athens B split into smaller constituencies, Thessaloniki A includes a larger area than shown in the previous map, Patra is now its own constituency).

Blank Hydrography Map of Greece

Greece Map Outline

Greece 34 43 17 30 blank map

This map shows elevations and main rivers, but no modern boundaries. It is intended for use in archaeological or historical contexts.

Greece map blank

Interactive Blank Map of Greece

Greece flag map

White and blue blank map of Greece

Blank Map of Greece with Borders

Vector Map of Greece

Blank Outline Map of Greece

Greece physical map (blank)

Greece SVG Map

Greece Map Blank

Greece former provinces blank

Blank Map of Greek Regions

Map of Greece with Roads and Main Cities

Outline Map of Greece

Outline Map of Greece with Roads

Black and White Map of Greece

Blank Map of Ancient Greece

Map of Greece

Blank Colored Map of Greek Regions

Greek Regions

Grey Map of Greece

Ancient Greece

Outline Map of Greece with Regions

Map of Greece by R. LeFleur, T. Elliott, N. Feldl, A. Retzleff, and J. Uy

Blank Map with Neighbouring Countries

Ancient Greece Blank Map

If you enjoyed reading this article with blank maps of Greece, you should read these as well:

Mapbox Vs Leaflet: What Makes These Two So Different

Mapbox and Leaflet are the most popular map libraries, both used for displaying and creating interactive maps on the web.

What is the difference between the two? Which one should a person use to add a map to their application?

This article will compare Mapbox vs Leaflet. It will explain the features and pros and cons of each library so you can decide which one you should use or if there is a better option available.

Joining yourself to a service is a permanent decision. You will need to change with the service as it changes. So it is important to compare services to make sure you will be happy with what you get.

Here is the comparison of Mapbox vs Leaflet:

Mapbox

Mapbox is a software development kit (SDK) for developing maps. It is one of the largest providers of custom maps for websites and mobile apps. It has been referred to as the best mapping service outside of Google Maps.

Established companies have used this product, including Facebook, Foursquare, The Weather Channel, and more.

Mapbox keeps its software updated with new technology advancements and features. For example, it includes geospatial mapping and augmented reality (AR).

The majority of the data that Mapbox uses is openly available. They provide fresh updates and stay accurate with rapidly developing data.

This is accomplished with the help of volunteer mappers. They also use sources like OpenStreetMap, Landsat, United States Geological Survey, Natural Earth, and OpenAddresses.

Mapbox is a front runner when it comes to vector map technology. Vector maps make large web maps. Each vector map can be styled.

Mapbox GL supports the Mapbox Style Specification feature to style maps. This feature is popular and used by Geoapify.

Key features of Mapbox:

  • The open-source JavaScript library, Mapbox.js, develops web and mobile applications
  • Build native applications on IOS with the Mapbox IOS software development kit. Or build native applications on IOS and OS X with MBXMapkit
  • Build native applications on Android. For this use Mapbox, OpenStreetMap, or other tile sources. Build overlays with GeoJSON data and create interactive tooltips for the app

Pros of Using Mapbox vs Leaflet:

  • Interactive
  • Easy to customize map tiles
  • Fast loading times due to customized tile generation
  • Standardized data flow to organize large projects
  • Easy access to data
  • Several base maps that can be customized with click editing
  • Extensive documentation to aid users
  • Default map styling is appealing and attractive
  • Highly customizable
  • Has a graphical interface for easy map styling
  • Works well with large sets of data
  • Has a lower price than other map libraries

Cons of Using Mapbox vs Leaflet:

  • The system is complex
  • Limited success with simple or small map projects
  • There is a sizable learning curve for developers who are accustomed to other API’s
  • Data standardization is strict and can create difficulties
  • Cost may be prohibitive. Mapbox pricing is based on user volume
  • Map styling requires learning the system’s idiolect
  • At times GIS software and skills, like ArcGIS and QGIS, are required to connect the data to geographic points
  • On occasion, the documentation does not provide an adequate understanding of the system

Using Mapbox vs Leaflet is best for complicated maps that require precise control over the various styling aspects. It is also best for maps that require multiple layers of data.

In summary, Mapbox is most useful for complex projects and not for single or simple maps. Mapbox works well when data management is complex. That is because it provides a customized solution that is well suited for a large project.

However, if you are developing your own backends then using Mapbox may be unnecessary and complicate the project.

Leaflet

Leaflet is an open-source JavaScript library. It is used to create web mapping applications and interactive maps that are mobile adaptive.

It was created by Vladimir Agafonkin who joined Mapbox in 2013. Now it is developed by a large community of contributors. It consists of only about 30 KB of gzipped JS code and yet it has features that provide all the tools that most developers need to create online maps.

Leaflet uses raster tiles. Raster tiles are images that are optimized for the internet and work on all types of devices.

These tiles are an excellent choice for displaying imagery and representing continuous data. The tiles are generated on the server so they are static.

Raster tiles can come from Mapbox.com or they can come from other tile servers. Leaflet runs in the browser and turns raster tiles into interactive maps. Leaflet’s core functionality does not have vector tiles but vector tiles can be supported by using external plugins.

Leaflet integrates with Mapbox. Mapbox.js is a plugin that integrates Mapbox maps with Leaflet. Leaflet also supports GeoJSON overlays and many other data sources.

One major benefit of Leaflet is that it is free. It is distributed under the BSD-2 Clause license which means there are very few restrictions on its use and distribution.

Key Features of Leaflet include:

  • Tile layers
  • Inertia software provides drag panning
  • Zooming and scrolling wheels

Pros of Using Leaflet vs Mapbox:

  • Interactive
  • Simple to use
  • Compatible with CARTO, Mapbox, Google Maps, and many other platforms
  • Customizable
  • Open source so others can modify the code
  • Contains all the tools developers need to create maps
  • Compatible with many plugins to extend functionality and provide developers with any tools that are not included in the main software
  • A minimal amount of code is needed to achieve the desired result
  • Excellent documentation is provided
  • Leaflet has a large community of supporters so where official documentation is lacking community members make up for it by providing comprehensive examples
  • Users can start developing a map by copying and pasting from the QuickStart tutorial
  • Leaflet works on most devices
  • There are more than 600 contributors so updates are released, on average, every six months
  • Leaflet can include slippy maps
  • Information can be changed into an outline
  • Includes mouse interactions

Cons of Using Leaflet vs Mapbox:

  • Developers need to know JavaScript
  • May need to use GIS programming like QGIS to set up information
  • In some circumstances, there is a cost for base layers
  • Official documentation only contains basic examples. Users have to search the Internet for more examples when help is needed

Leaflet is not GIS but it can be combined with platforms like CARTO or others to fulfill GIS capacities.

Using Leaflet vs Mapbox is best used for multipurpose mapping projects where a graphical interface is not needed.

Leaflet is a great choice when developers are creating a map and not a complicated GIS application. Leaflet is also a great option when the data is GeoJSON and projections are not needed. The main reason why developers like Leaflet is because it is lightweight.

Ending thoughts on Mapbox vs Leaflet

It can be intimidating for someone to create an online map for the first time. Even those who have done it a few times need help along the way. Since there are several tools available that range in complexity and usefulness, it can be hard and confusing to choose which one to use.

This article compared Mapbox vs Leaflet. Mapbox and Leaflet are two popular but different mapping libraries. There is an alternative for WordPress users. MapSVG is an easy to use mapping plugin with Google Maps integration that accomplishes many mapping tasks.

This map is created with MapSVG

With MapSVG you can:

  • Create a Google Map
  • Overlay a Google Map with scalable vector graphics (SVG)
  • Add custom SVG artwork to a Google Map

The scalable vector graphics are positioned on Google Maps with latitude and longitude coordinates.

MapSVG provides the tools needed to create interactive maps in an easy and fun way. It includes features such as:

  • More than 100 geo-calibrated maps
  • A world map that is divided into countries and regions. All the regions are clickable
  • Country maps with states and provinces
  • Some special maps

Most of the maps included with MapSVG are calibrated so users can add markers and icons using addresses and coordinates. Users can also create their own SVG maps and upload them to MapSVG.

Hopefully, this article aids you in deciding which map library suits you best.

If you liked this article about Mapbox vs Leaflet, you should also check out this article about free mapping software.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like indoor mapping, Mapbox vs Google Maps, online mapping tools, WordPress Google Maps plugins, Mapbox alternatives, and OpenLayers vs Leaflet.

A bit obvious by now, but we really like maps so we wrote even more about subjects like the blank map of Italy, Africa, Australia, and a few others, about websites with maps using interactive maps, and SVG animation examples.

The Best Mapbox Alternatives That You Could Use

Mapbox is a much-appreciated tool that you can use to make great maps. It makes beautiful maps with various added features. With OpenStreetMap data, integrating maps into websites and mobile apps is quick.

Although it has all these excellent features, Mapbox may not always meet personal needs or expectations. For example, a particular job may require a specific feature that is not included in Mapbox.

Fortunately, there are other GIS solutions available that offer these components.

This is an extensive and well-researched list of Mapbox alternatives. It helps the reader to analyze the options and compare them to their competitors.

The Best Mapbox Alternatives

Esri ArcGIS

The first of these Mapbox alternatives is ArcGIS. A platform that is especially suited for exploring and publishing location-based information. Both the mapping and analytics sides are well developed.

ArcGIS is a very complete package. There are various tools for mapping and location intelligence. It includes rich software development tools.

This makes it possible to create and customize maps and other location intelligent products. To enrich personalized data, Esri comes with a large collection of geographical data.

It can run directly from a local computer (ArcGIS Pro) or a local or remote server (ArcGIS Enterprise). Esri also offers a SaaS hosted option (ArcGIS Online).

With these options, Esri ArcGIS is useful for any kind of industry.

Some of the features and capabilities are:

  • 3D GIS.
  • Data collection & management.
  • Imagery and remote sensing.
  • Mapping and visualization.
  • Real-time GIS.
  • Spatial analytics.

QGIS

QGIS is a continuation of what used to be known as Quantum GIS. This is a free open-source option for geographic information systems (GIS).

QGIS is a desktop GIS and can process geospatial information, like maps. The developers are the Open Source Geospatial Foundation or OSGeo. The foundation aims to produce free software with open-source code behind it.

The Graphical User Interface of QGIS is simple and efficient and pleasant to work with. Various plugins are available that give added functionality and cover different systems.

The user can set up different custom print layouts. For example, it can produce automated multi-page atlas style layout printing. The printouts, on paper or as pdf, are useful to show clients and highlight different details.

This option is easy to work with and is mostly recommended for simpler operations. These include especially editing, shapefile modification, labeling and coloring, and changing projections.

Google Maps API

Google Maps API is a platform for businesses and developers. It is a collection of APIs and SDKs for processing and publishing maps.

These maps may appear on websites, mobile apps, and other applications. Google Maps API can collect data from Google Maps servers.

It allows organizations to collect, and evaluate geographical data related to their business.

This helps them to improve their activities or services based on their location. They may even discover new business opportunities and can make informed strategic decisions.

With Google Maps API, geographical data from Google Maps can be integrated into a site. Additional information is obtainable from Google Maps as well.

And if you like Google Maps, check out MapSVG

This map is created with MapSVG

MapSVG is a great WordPress plugin. Among other things, it can do the following:

  • Create a Google map.
  • SVG map overlay.
  • Add custom SVG artwork.

MapSVG ensures that the SVGs are perfectly positioned on Google Maps.

But it does more than overlay and highlight a location. It creates interactive maps. To these maps greying, highlights, pop-ups, region tooltips, and much more can be added.

Leaflet

Leaflet is a JavaScript library useful for developers. The library allows the integration of interactive maps into apps or websites. It contains geographical information from both commercial and open-source sources.

Leaflet itself is also open-source with a simple and readable code that can be modified to the user’s needs. It is flexible and works across different platforms.

The design of Leaflet focuses on performance, simplicity, and practicality. Leaflet is compact and carries many of the basic features.

With the addition of plugins its capabilities increase. These additional features make complicated tasks a lot easier.

To assist the user even further, Leaflet has concise API documentation that is easy to use. A large community provides additional support and continues to develop new tricks and plugins.

OpenLayers

OpenLayers is another popular open-source Javascript mapping library. This is free software, so OpenLayers is an economical choice.

Many developers use it for this reason. It also provides great functionality and is easy to use. In this sense, it is comparable to GeoEXT, but the GIS capabilities of GeoEXT are much more developed.

For users unfamiliar with writing JavaScript code, OpenLayers may be difficult to use. Even users that have experience with writing code may take some time to get used to it.

However, it’s a good option for developers who don’t want to use commercial platforms like Bong or Google.

uMap

This is a neat project that uses OpenStreetMap layers. This allows the user to easily create maps and embed them in a website.

uMap can add annotations, lines, and shapes to the map. It can also add custom layers (CSV, GPS, KML, etc.) and other data.

Some highlights of these options are:

  • Layers selection.
  • Operated from within the browser, even mobile.
  • Add POIs: heatmaps, lines, markers, polygons, etc.
  • POI appearance management, including colors and icons.
  • Manage map options, such as a minimap, locate users.
  • Batch import of geo structured data (GeoJSON, GPX, KML, OSM, etc.).
  • Licensing options.
  • Allow users to search the data.

Mango

Mango is ideal for non-profit organizations, local governments, and SMBs. Designers use this tool to prepare and share maps with their colleagues, customers, and communities.

Mango can quickly create maps with visualizations, analysis tools, and granular security. The maps are excellent tools that provide insights and give a basis for decision making.

The possibilities that Mango offers include:

  • Powerful visualizations that reveal patterns and insights locked within.
  • Attractive interactive maps.
  • Share maps with anyone, anywhere.
  • Works on any device.
  • Map-based workflows.
  • Personalized map application.
  • Data Sync: automated dataset and visualization updates.
  • Direct attribute and geometry data editing.
  • Cleardata management.

CARTO (formerly CartoDB)

Carto is a Brooklyn-based company that offers location intelligence solutions.

Geospatial data is very important for a wide range of businesses. It allows them to get the best from their billboard locations, create balanced sales areas, and design supply chains.

CARTO’s purpose is to help businesses analyze and understand this information. It collects, enriches, analyzes, and visualizes their data in a spatial context.

CARTO works with SQL, which goes beyond columns and rows to display data. More complex configurations can extract less obvious and more complex patterns.

At the same time, it uses common programming data like string and float. This allows users to enter different data types.

CARTO comes with some standard maps that can be used immediately. It also accepts external GIS and GeoJSON files to create custom maps.

MapTiler

The last of these Mapbox alternatives is MapTiler. Developers use MapTiler for building websites and mobile apps.

The maps are zoomable and easy-to-use. This enables the use of different scales and detail levels. Maps of the whole world are available.

MapTiler can add enhanced geodata, change colors, and add or remove different elements. The visual editor can be set to one of 55 languages or to automatically detect the user’s preference.

MapTiler obviates the need for dynamic on-server processing, so the maps load quickly. Upload maps to the cloud or a server within minutes.

It runs on a reliable infrastructure. Data centers are located in Europe and North America and over 110 edge servers (POPs) on five continents.

Its cloud works with raster and vector tiles. It can generate static maps or deliver WMS and WMTS services.

If you liked this article about Mapbox alternatives, you should also check out this article about free mapping software.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like indoor mapping, Mapbox vs Google Maps, online mapping tools, WordPress google maps plugins, OpenLayers vs Leaflet, and Mapbox vs Leaflet.

A bit obvious by now, but we really like maps so we wrote even more about subjects like the blank map of Italy, Africa, Australia, and a few others, about websites with maps using interactive maps, and SVG animation examples.

Openlayers vs Leaflet: What Makes One Better Than the Other

So, Openlayers vs Leaflet, which one to choose? Let’s look at that comparison and see which one would be the best to use.

Leaflet and OpenLayers are two leading javascript libraries. They are popular for embedding interactive maps on websites. Customers might wonder which is best for building a web app with the Map Suite WebAPI Edition.

It is difficult to pick one that is best for everyone because it depends on the needs and preferences of the developer.

For both libraries, an abundance of documentation is available. Both also work reliably on mobile devices. Therefore, in those areas, both Leaflet and OpenLayers perform similarly. To make the choice, other questions must be answered.

Professionals with experience using both options have compared them as a help to anyone deciding which to use. It highlights their performance, strong aspects, and points of improvement in a variety of situations.

OpenLayers

What is OpenLayers?

OpenLayers is the first open-source JavaScript library. It makes and adds features for displayable maps for web browsers. Titles, markers, and vector data can be loaded from any source and included in a dynamic map. It is expandable into web-based geographic applications with API.

It has been licensed under the BSD 2-clause license and is, therefore, free to use. Its mission is to help develop the use of different forms of geographic information.

OpenLayers reads coordinates in the LonLat format and this can be confusing. Many other map libraries use the inverse, LatLon. From the standpoint of the geographic information system (GIS), the former is actually more accurate.

Features

  • Tiled layers: Sources for tiles are Bing, MapBox, MapQuest, OSM, Stamen, and any other XYZ source. OGC mapping servers are also supported.
  • Fast and mobile ready: Mobile support is incorporated. The whole purpose of the library is to be lightweight and concise.
  • Vector layers: GeoJSON, GML, KML, and TopoJSON are compatible and can be used to render vector data. Many other formats will expand the list in due course.
  • Innovative and easy to Customize: The combination with Canvas 2D, HTML5, and WebGL brings out the best in map rendering. The straightforward map styling is controlled with CSS.

Documentation

The documentation includes a QuickStart, tutorials, and many examples, however, some of the examples are obsolete.

Despite the excellent structuring of the library, its extensiveness makes it easy to get lost in.

Community

The OpenLayers libraries are used for GIS purposes. For this reason, the OpenLayers community is not as big compared to the Leaflet community. For example, googling “OpenLayers StackOverflow” returned only 52,700 results.

JavaScript

More code is required with OpenLayers. Version 3 is a simpler API and requires more Java code writing. This can be an advantage for a higher degree of customization. A more advanced API gives less freedom.

Additionally, the code is well-structured and provides better MVC separation.

Leaflet

What is Leaflet?

Leaflet is the second option, being an open-source JavaScript library that creates mobile-friendly interactive maps.  It is small (only 38 KB), but it is complete with all the necessary features for developing online maps. It makes responsive maps that can be viewed on any device and browser.

Leaflet is one of the leading open-source JavaScript libraries for interactive maps. The code is available, modifiable and its use is free under a BSD-2 Clause license.

It is simple and light-weight. The QuickStart tutorial is all that needed to get started with Leaflet.

Features

  • Tile layers
  • Drag panning with inertia
  • Zoom with mouse wheel
  • Animated zoom
  • Polyline/polygon rendering
  • Multi-touch zoom
  • Hardware acceleration on iOS

Documentation

The Leaflet documentation contains many examples and tutorials. The Information API is quick, easy to find, and is well-structured.

The basic documentation is, however, very basic. Searching the internet is the easiest way to obtain specific information.

Community

As the most popular maps Javascript library, Leaflet has an extensive community. The meager documentation is made up of the many real-life examples from the community.

JavaScript

A minimal amount of coding is required to work with Leaflet. It has a more advanced API than OpenLayers 3 and thus requires a less technical background.

To make something beyond what Leaflet offers requires a lot of code writing unless a plugin is used.

Openlayers vs Leaflet

Developers describe Leaflet as a “JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps”. It is tiny and contains all the everyday features. OpenLayers is a high-performance, feature-packed library. It loads, displays, and renders maps from different sources.

When to Use OpenLayers

OpenLayers offers more options, but also requires more time to understand. Creating a simple map requires familiarity with using projections.

However, if the objective requires the use of different Geo data sources, projections, and integration with other GIS applications, OpenLayers is the right choice.

Likewise, if the applications have to contain many features and functionalities, OpenLayer is the way to go. With a larger and more complex API, it is more suited to go beyond the standard functions.

In the end, OpenLayers is better at using map projections. Then again, the more powerful API, the more learning and training required.

When to Use Leaflet

Leaflet is much easier to understand and learn how to operate than OpenLayers.

So, if you only need to include a simple map without complex GIS applications, Leaflet is fine. The complicated thing is working with GeoJSON, and there is no need to work with projections.

Leaflet works for maps with basic requirements, like map tiles, panning, and zooming. The API is easy to understand and use. It becomes complicated when more advanced features are needed.

You might find a  plugin that does all the hard work but if not, it will require a lot of coding to get the job done.

Lightweight is the main reason some developers use Leaflet, while many others choose OpenLayers because of its flexibility.

Ending thoughts on OpenLayers vs Leaflet

It is complicated to say which of the two is the best tool. It completely depends on the user’s needs. For simple needs, Leaflet is the choice. If the needs are more complicated and using JavaScript code is not a problem, OpenLayers 3 is the way to go.

A third option is MapSVG. It is much more user-friendly than either OpenLayer or Leaflet and is packed with features. It is excellent for most mapping tasks with the advantage of Google Maps integration.

This map is created with MapSVG

Some of the included features of MapSVG are:

  • SVG map overlay with Google Maps
  • Custom SVG artwork
  • Seamless alignment with Google maps with LatLon coordinates.

It is easy to get started with MapSVG. First, you need to get Google API keys:

Maps JavaScript API key for:

  • For enabling Google Maps.
  • download a calibrated SVG file with a Google Maps screenshot.

Geocoding API key for:

  • Adding markers.
  • Importing locations as LatLon coordinates from a CSV file.
  • Searching for a location on Google Map

If you liked this article about OpenLayers vs Leaflet, you should also check out this article about free mapping software.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like indoor mapping, Mapbox vs Google Maps, online mapping tools, WordPress Google Maps plugins, Mapbox alternatives, OpenLayers vs Leaflet, and Mapbox vs Leaflet.

A bit obvious by now, but we really like maps so we wrote even more about subjects like the blank map of Italy, Africa, Australia, and a few others, about websites with maps using interactive maps, and SVG animation examples.