A Guide to Choose Maps API for your On-Demand App
Digital maps were introduced in smartphones a long time back and navigation has helped us all reach our destinations numerous times. With advancements in technology, these digital maps have found their way into on-demand apps through APIs where they not just help the service providers with navigation but also help customers to know the estimated time of delivery.
Here are 3 ways in which integration of digital maps in an on-demand mobile app proves to be useful.
- Admin can track his workforce.
- Users can track the service provider and know the EDT.
- Service providers can locate a user and use route navigation.
There are quite a number of providers who have made their Maps API available to developers, and choosing the right Maps API which suits your business best, can be a tough task. While you are clear about the uses of integrating a Maps API in your mobile app, let us move on to the factors which you should consider while browsing through various Maps API providers.
Important factors to consider while choosing your Maps API
Either you want to compare Mapbox vs Google Maps or you want to compare a new service with OpenStreet Maps, these factors will help you decide and narrow down to one API service.
- Number of app users:
The most important factor to be taken into consideration before you begin your search for the best Maps API is the number of users you have on your platform right now or the number of users you think will be there in the coming times.
Maps API providers like Google Maps have a daily limit for free views and once the limit is crossed, you have to pay in order to make maps accessible on your platform. The free limit for Google Maps API is 25,000 map views per day.
Once you know the number of users on your app, the second factor to be considered is pricing. While OpenStreet maps are free, Google Maps and Mapbox API are partially free. You might want to go with free API at this stage but hold on. Go through the other factors in the list.
Different Map API providers have different documentations which guide developers to generate the API key and integrate maps efficiently in the app on the admin, customer and service provider side. To do this successfully, you’ll be required to go through the documentation provided by the company. Make sure that the documentation is easily understandable and in a detailed format.
- Ease of Use:
Another important factor to be considered is the ease of use. Check if your service providers will be able to use the map feature easily and also if you’ll be able to track your workforce using the maps API. Check how a map view is generated and if drivers / service providers have the option to re-route their journey. Also check out if the Maps API provides you with customization options.
Leading Maps API providers with features and pricing:
List of some other Maps API providers:
- Nokia Here Maps – https://developer.here.com/
- Bing Maps – https://www.microsoft.com/maps/choose-your-bing-maps-API.aspx
- MapQuest – https://developer.mapquest.com/
- Cartodb – https://docs.cartodb.com/cartodb-platform/maps-api.html
- OpenLayers – https://dev.openlayers.org/apidocs/files/OpenLayers-js.html
- Waze – https://www.waze.com/about/dev
These Map APIs are not commonly used in mobile apps because most of them do not support the tasks which are needed in an on-demand app. We, at Juggernaut use Google Maps API and Mapbox API as they have the ability to accomplish all tasks which are required in an on-demand sector. The following section will give you insights into various components of Digital maps that are required in an on-demand mobile app.
Digital Mapping Components that you’ll require in your Android / iOS App
Turn by Turn Navigation: Turn by turn navigation is required in order to serve the customer quickly and efficiently. It will be useful for service providers as they can follow the map directions to reach the customer’s location.
Real Time Tracking: Real time tracking is an essential feature in an on-demand app which helps the admin to track the location of his drivers in a real time map interface. Apart from the admin, real time tracking also enables the service provider and customer track each other and hence save time.
Expected Time of Arrival: The expected time of arrival is calculated taking various factors into consideration which include the route taken by service provider. This feature helps customers know the time when the service provider would reach at his location.
Routing / Re-routing / Traffic Updates: At times there are traffic jams or other obstacles, so a good mapping API provides the re-route option to drivers. This also updates the customer and the admin as they are able to track the service provider in real time.
The Bottom Line:
If you want more customisation options in your maps then you should go with Mapbox API and if you feel that estimated delivery times, real time tracking features are more important as per the business model of your on-demand app, then we would recommend you to choose Google Maps.
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