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Ask HN: Cheapest Maps APIs
30 points by agencies 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments
What are your go-to maps APIs for budget minded businesses? Where is there still room for improvement?

The Google price hike was a while ago but APIs continue to be too expensive for folks [1].

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26991625#27003898






For your frontend: MapLibre GL [1] is the fork of Mapbox GL that's still open source, so you don't have to pay for each usage.

For tile hosting: Openmaptiles [2], based on Openstreetmap data. Either pay them for out-of-the-box experience, or use their open-source code to set up your own server at whatever hosting for whatever price you prefer.

[1] https://github.com/MapLibre/maplibre-gl-js

[2] https://openmaptiles.org/


If you are curious about which routing engines fit you better, try this https://superroute.evergreen-labs.com

(I made it to for myself and later shared it with friends and others.)


Here has a freemium tier (no credit card required) which gives you 250k transactions per month for free.

https://developer.here.com/pricing

Disclaimer: I work for here.


Plus one for this. I created a wrapper in the language I use for HERE maps, and their fremium model is great. Over 250K I start paying, but I haven't got there yet. I'm using routing, address auto-complete (International), tiles, traffic maps and so on.

We at NetToolKit offer map tiles (both vector and raster), geocoding, and for the US, we offer autocompletion: https://www.nettoolkit.com/geo/about

$10 for 100,000 transactions (e.g. geocoding requests, tile sessions)

We have a tool to compare geocoding results across different providers: https://www.nettoolkit.com/geo/demo

We also have a JavaScript library (MapWrapper) that makes working with maps easier (including allowing you to easily switch among a few of the different tile providers).

We welcome feedback!



Are you aware of OpenStreetMap.org ? They have an entire ecosystem of APIs and services and download-data-and-serve-it-yourself options.

This is a common myth. OSM is a data product, not an API product. The OSM Foundation's map serving infrastructure is not "free as in beer".

But as you said, you can self-host the maps (and geocoding/routing) with a server beefy enough.


OpenStreetMap.org, on the other side, is a website representing an ecosystem that includes data, software and services.

I'm familiar. Sounds like lots of folks are (as in the thread), but still have friction being able to leverage it.

Sounds to me like there are still are gaps that new services could fill to make it easier to use.


Apple Maps is cheap - 250000 views per day are for free. You will have to create your own client JWTs afaik. Not sure about APIs.

Agreed. I moved straight to Apple Maps after Google’s price hike and haven’t had a problem since.

To this day still covered by the free tier whereas on Google it went overnight from free to $300+/month.

I can’t quite recall if you need to be registered as an Apple Developer to use it (probably).


are you using the mapkit-js[1] to integrate with other platforms than ios, or something else ?

[1]https://developer.apple.com/documentation/mapkitjs


Yep MapKit JS for "find your nearest location" type functionality on a corporate website (with zip/post code lookup, location details overlaid etc.)

Rereading OP I realise the question was about APIs rather than necessarily web-based mapping (which is how I initially had read it)


With regards to what features?

Map display? Geolocation? Routing?

I am also curious.


On this same tangent, does anyone know a cheap API for suggesting and validating addresses?

Not sure about your specific use case, but we at NetToolKit offer address autocompletion in the US; you can see a demo at: https://www.nettoolkit.com/geo/autocomplete

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at support @ [domain].



If you're in the UK, take a look at the Ordnance Survey. Some data is open source, some very reasonably priced.

Checkout mapbox not sure if the pricing is better the but the api is easy to use and the pricing is pretty clear IMO



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