Offer different map services

I thought you might look into Mapbox as a Google alternative which is less expensive. Allow us to choose which map links we could offer.


Mapbox seems to be a solid choice

Other options mentioned also are Mapkit for iOS. BINGMaps and HEREMaps

Hi @405media,

the maps situation is very complex. The first thing to realize is it’s so complex that very very few can self-host a map, so since your site will be connecting to a third party, it will need to be behind the consent banner.

Google Maps pricing is extremely confusing, I’m not sure the second article you mention clears that up much. Sparkle does not generate the more expensive street view code anyway.

I have looked at mapbox a lot, but I have never found an actual deployment where the map usage felt anywhere near as snappy as Google Maps.

Even Apple Maps (as seen via are not as fast as Google Maps, there might be some (fuzzy/unclear) savings, though as far as I can tell to use Apple Maps and mapkit you need to be subscribed in Apple’s developer program ($99/year) even just to get started and set up their arcane authentication mechanism.

Do you understand Bing Maps pricing? They don’t even ever say “free tier” anywhere, though presumably there is one. The 125000/year seems fewer (though maybe comparable) to Google’s… $200/month? Who knows?

Here seems to have maybe the most generous free tier, but I guess the question is, is any Sparkle user actually exceeding Google Maps free tier? Or is this about getting more maps features? Or is it an anti-Google stance? I could concur, but it seems like it’s a choice of the least evil and I’m not sure there’s a winner here.

So what’s your use case? What’s the restriction in using Google Maps?

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Well one thing Mapbox seemed to offer more customizable options and offered much more than google does… I haven’t tried the others… as far as google, your color scheme needs to offer a small thumbnail preview or something… or the dropdown should just show a list of thumbnails not names as they are pointless… just ideas… seems you should at least allow us to choose whom we wanted maybe in the way of preferences set default map provider, or as a dropdown selection… Ive been noticing more Here installations on various sites so perhaps it needs more looking into as well. The question isn’t simply a price choice, but looks, customizability, and user preference of UI

What about - I have used this before on several web sites. Not sure if the API allows for embedding of openstreetmap into an actual program or not though.


Yeah that would need to be figured out. I haven’t done the research sorry, but the performance is even worse than mapbox.