Having interactive map technology is a must if you are part of the travel industry, as it will increase engagement with your customers and motivate them to purchase your products. At Arrivedo we’ll show you all you need to know about how to acquire it and the diverse options in the following article.
Technologically speaking, it may be quite challenging to develop interactive maps from scratch. However, several developers came up with the great idea of doing the hideous work for you, and can even provide you with a complete map feature for your digital platforms.
This is possible when they grant you access to their APIs or SDKs. Both are rather easy to use if your business has a virtual development team or digital agency.
Now, we’ll show you six options that allow you to incorporate interactive maps on your web platform. Although this list is by no means extensive, it does include the best options in the market. Each of them has several pros and cons, and we’ll describe each of them to help you make the best choice for your business’ needs.
- Maps feature: allows for elaborate, personalized maps.
- Geocoding: allows the conversion of text (addresses) into geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) and vice versa. It is particularly useful when searching for specific places in a map.
- Provides travel time estimates for routes in a map or from one point to another.
Mapbox offers several pricing options, depending on the specific needs of the client and their platform. For more details, we recommend visiting their pricing webpage here.
- Offers a great variety of features.
- Because it is powered by Open Street Maps (a collaborative open map platform), the locations database is very diverse, and you’ll find information which is unavailable in other platforms.
- Provides high-quality support to both users and developers.
- It may be quite pricey depending on the number of people that visit your webpage. However, it does have a “freemium” model, which allows you to have a limited number of free calls.
- Maps: generates interactive maps and integrates them with ‘street view.’
- Routes: offers an estimate of a route’s travel time, provides navigation directions, and real time traffic information.
- Places: Allows for searching and geotagging specific places registered on Google Maps. It also provides detailed information on the places.
- Google Maps is powered by information provided by millions of users on a daily basis which means it may have the largest available database.
- If you work with mobile applications, accessing this platform may be free. What is more, you are provided with a $200 monthly loan, in case you are a small business or start-up project.
- It can be less versatile than other companies, such as Mapbox.
- You may not find recent or any information in some cities (such as China) or in remote places.
If you wish to find out more about their pricing options, click here.
Leaflet is an Open Source Library, which means its source code is available for any developer to use and modify. It allows for the creation of interactive maps with a user-friendly platform, and it works best for mobile applications. You can find more information on their webpage.
- It’s not overloaded with features and functions, so it can be fairly user-friendly.
- It is a light program (33Kb), hence, you’ll have reduced loading times on your website.
- Simplicity may have a cost and you may need to add complementary functions, which means extra work for your developers.
- It uses an open source software, so it may not have a comprehensive and fully-available support system like Mapbox or Google Maps do. You’ll need to reply on the availability of the community in charge.
- You’ll depend on the Mapbox Library, which may not always be free to use.
Just like Leaflet, Open Layers uses open source software. However, it self-proclaims to be a “highly functioning library,” with a variety of features for the creation of online interactive maps. Their goal is to promote the use of diverse types of geographical information. You may explore more about this option here.
- It works perfectly well with WebGIS protocols, with no need for additional gadgets. This can be quite useful for advanced developers.
- It provides several examples for users to learn the use of codes, all of them created by the community.
- It is totally free.
- It can get tricky to use, especially if the user doesn’t have much experience with maps.
- Because it uses an open source, it may not have a complete and fully-available support system like Mapbox or Google Maps do. You’ll reply on the availability of the community in charge.
Maps.Me is a platform specialized in offline maps and mobile applications. If your business has an application powered by Android or IOS, it could be a convenient option. More information on their API can be found here.
- Since it works offline, accessing it can be pretty straightforward, as you don’t need WiFi to load the maps.
- It provides a complete database of interest points in various places.
- It can get heavy if several maps are downloaded on the same device.
- It provides maps of countries or islands, but does not include cities.
- It is not available for desktop formats.
It’s perhaps the greatest geolocation business worldwide. It’s main goal is to power navigation systems for vehicles without the need for an internet connection. The APIs availability allows you to use it on almost any web platform for both mobile and desktop formats. Pricing options and more information can be found here.
- Excellent database with advanced features, such as voice navigation, public transport schedules, navigation information for multiple-story buildings, etc.
- Allows for maps to be downloaded offline which can be quite useful for mobile applications.
- Due to its complex features, it may get quite pricey.
- Offline maps can be heavier than those used on other platforms.
At Arrivedo, we believe that integrating map technology with inspiring content is essential for the creation of interactive online experiences and user engagement. Our content solutions allow us to merge with any map platform, through our API. However, we recommend Mapbox for the following reasons.
- Reasonable and adjustable prices with consideration for the needs of each user.
- It is more scalable than other solutions.
- It provides an excellent support system capable of guiding you through every developmental stage of your platform.
Furthermore, we have a SDK solution which easily integrates with Mapbox and reduces developing times. You just need to ask for our API Key and include its insider code parameters. For more information on how to integrate Mapbox with Arrivedo, you can enter this link. Are you ready to take the next step? Watch a free demo, here.