We're delighted to be able to announce that we've partnered with a new mapping service provider to bring you our new Open Street Map integration. The major benefit of this integration is that there is now no longer a requirement to sign up for an API key with a third party such as Google or Mapbox; instead a very generous free usage tier is included with all of our plans.
Here's how the free quotas amounts break down for the mapping services that our software supports:
- Open Street Map - Free for up to 100,000 locator loads per month. Included with all our plans and no need to sign up for an API key.
- Google Maps - Free for up to around 30,000 locator loads per month. Requires signing up with Google using your credit card details to get an API key.
- Mapbox - Free for up to around 50,000 locator loads per month. Requires signing up with Mapbox to get an API key (no credit card details needed).
So, in other words, we are now providing double the free quota of any other provider with any of our store locator subscriptions. The other good news is that the 100,000 locator loads a month is a soft limit which means you won't be cut off or charged to your credit card as will happen with Google Maps or Mapbox. What would happen if you exceeded it regularly each month or by a large amount is that we'd get in touch with you to discuss options for increasing the limit. Our goal is to provide a world class store locator software service, not make money as a mapping service provider so we will provide this to you at the cost we are charged for it with our provider from whom we benefit from bulk discount rates.
Which mapping service should I choose?
Firstly, it's worth saying that our data shows that very few of our customers need more than the Google Maps free quota of 30,000 locator loads per month. To be more precise, we've looked across all our entire customer base and found that 97% of our customers don't exceed this amount so unless you expect to attract very heavy usage of your store locator then we still generally recommend staying with Google (despite the painful account setup process).
There are some reasons why you would not want to choose Google however and the biggest one is concerns about your registered credit card being charged if you exceed the free quota in a month. This could be due to any number of circumstances such as a high profile website linking to your store locator page or unexpected traffic from another source. In many cases businesses also want to be able to plan and pre-approve their expenditure each month and unforeseen Google bills don't fit into that model.
To help with the mapping service selection process, we've built a couple of tools to make things clearer. First up is our Mapping Service Cost Calculator which will calculate approximate costs for your store locator based on visitor numbers:
Secondly, we've built a quick tool to allow you to easily compare the visual style of each mapping service provider:
If after all that you can't decide, feel free to get in touch with us and we'd be happy to make suggestions and recommendations based on your business requirements.