Geospatial data is gaining popularity with cloud technologies and iOT (Internet of Things). With mobile devices, this data have become ubiquitous and must have. However, getting this data to traditional desktop is still progressing slowly as you usually require a map engine to be integrated. I did a quick review with some popular map engine to see if I can setup a simple map page within a day.
Review Steps and Criterion
- Google search of popular Maps with the key words – online maps, maps API, maps engine.
- Maps reviews on setup and costs.
- Maps that can be used in China, because majority of popular maps are blocked in China.
- Build a simple web page and access the map API to query address by Lat/Lon, also known as Reverse Geocoding API.
Plus point of Google Map is the common information found for its API. However, Login and credit card information is now compulsory to use Google API. There is also no secure way to access China maps and you may need Google.cn.
The login keep asking for a local China phone number, assuming it is for WeChat. You will need strong mastery of Chinese as it seems geared only for China market. No pricing is stated.
Like Baidu, the entire experience is similar. Login with China mobile is being asked and integrated with WeChat. No English support is provided and pricing is also not stated.
HERE map is an upcoming map engine by a consortium of cars manufacturers. The documents are straightforward and easy to implement. There are news that they are covering China. So, it will be a map engine to look out.
Summary and Mixed Map
Overall, China coverage are limited to China map engines. Google and HERE are pretty well supported for the rest of world. There will need to be detailed testing on the accuracy as these are high level evaluations. From organisation view, it will be cost effective to support a single map engine. However, due to country constraints, there may be a need for multiple map engine support,