At Maproom we build most of our interactive web maps on a Mapbox base. We also sometimes use Google Maps as a base. Both systems have their merits and weaknesses; both charge fees for high usage; and both are in a constant state of development and competition with each other and the smaller players on the dynamic mapping scene. Here’s a current comparison of Mapbox and Google Maps.
|Mapbox – used to power reference maps in our Dynamic Mapping Suite||Far more customisable than Google Maps|
Cheaper than Google Maps for high traffic
Various ways to handle large data feeds
Not the highest resolution for satellite maps
|Google Maps – used by us for some bespoke dynamic maps requiring Streetview or the highest resolution satellite imagery of London||Streetview and the best search of all mapping systems||Completely unable to handle advance styling or large data feeds|
All web maps built with Mapbox and Google Maps are metered for usage. Usage means the number of times per month that a Google Map or Mapbox map is loaded. If, say, your website has a page with a Google Map embedded on it, the number of hits that page gets each month will count as the load.
Currently at the time of writing, the free threshold traffic for Google Maps is up to 28,500 loads per month, and for Mapbox it is up to 50,000 loads per month.
The majority of websites fall well below these thresholds and thus have free usage of the Google Maps and Mapbox bases upon which Maproom builds dynamic maps.
However, organisations with busy websites need to know about possible charges!
High traffic charges
(As at June 2022)
|System||Costs per 1,000 Monthly Map Loads|
|Mapbox||FREE up to 50,000 monthly map loads and 100,000 monthly search terms|
$5 per 1,000 from 50,001 – 100,000 loads
$4 per 1,000 from 100,001 – 200,000 loads
$3 per 1,000 from 200,001 – 1,000,000 loads
negotiable from 1,000,000+ loads
More details at Mapbox pricing
|Google Maps||FREE up to 28,500 monthly map loads|
$7 per 1,000 above 28,500 map loads
$14 per 1,000 for Street View
$5 per 1,000 search terms
More details at Google Maps pricing