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Leaflet

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Leaflet vs OpenStreetMap: What are the differences?

Leaflet is a JavaScript library used for creating interactive maps, while OpenStreetMap is an open-source map data platform. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Map Rendering: Leaflet relies on different map providers, such as OpenStreetMap, Mapbox, and Stamen, for rendering map tiles and providing map data. On the other hand, OpenStreetMap directly serves the map tiles and data from its own map database. This makes OpenStreetMap more self-sufficient and less reliant on external map providers.

  2. Map Customization: Leaflet provides extensive customization options for map styling. Developers can easily change the map's appearance by modifying various properties such as colors, icons, and overlays. OpenStreetMap, on the other hand, offers limited customization options out of the box. However, it allows developers to contribute to the map data itself and make changes by adding or editing map features.

  3. Map Interactivity: Leaflet provides a wide range of interactivity options such as zooming, panning, and adding markers, polygons, and pop-ups to the map. It also supports handling user interactions like click events and map controls. OpenStreetMap, being a data platform, mainly focuses on providing the map data and doesn't have built-in interactivity functionalities like Leaflet. However, developers can utilize Leaflet alongside OpenStreetMap to add interactivity to the maps.

  4. Community and Support: Leaflet has a vast community of developers who regularly contribute to its development, create plugins, and provide support through forums and documentation. OpenStreetMap, being an open-source project, also benefits from a large community of volunteers who improve the map data and provide support. However, Leaflet has a more focused community specifically dedicated to map visualization and interactivity.

  5. Learning Curve: Leaflet is designed to be beginner-friendly and has a relatively low learning curve. It provides comprehensive documentation, examples, and a straightforward API, making it easy for developers to get started with creating maps. OpenStreetMap, on the other hand, has a steeper learning curve as it involves understanding map data and contributing to it, which requires familiarity with the OpenStreetMap ecosystem and data editing tools.

  6. Usage and Application: Leaflet is widely used in various web mapping applications due to its versatility and extensive feature set. It can be integrated into different frameworks and platforms seamlessly. OpenStreetMap, as a map data platform, is used as a data source by many applications and services. It offers developers access to global map data that can be utilized for a wide range of purposes.

In summary, Leaflet is a lightweight and versatile JavaScript library for interactive maps, offering easy integration and customization options. OpenStreetMap, on the other hand, is a collaborative mapping project providing free and editable map data for various applications, with Leaflet often used as a frontend tool to display these maps.

Advice on Leaflet and OpenStreetMap
  1. I would like to input a spreadsheet with names and associated addresses into a map program to; pinpoint all of the locations on a map. How can I do that? On which map? Are there field size limitations? All help would be appreciated.

  2. There is a subdivision that is about one(1) mile by 3/4 mile in size. Is there a map program that would create the most efficient way to drive all of the streets in the subdivision without a lot of doubling back?

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Replies (1)

You could use a low-code platform to read the spreadsheet and use them as input for the pin pointing. The most expert provider would HERE or TomTom for the best routing algoritmes. Input parameters would be dependent on the chosen provider.

I see your stack is mostly Google and I am not familiar with that. But we have implemented this through the M365 Teams/SharePoint, Excell, MS PowerPlatform, our WMS and Azure.

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From a StackShare Community member: "We're a team of two starting to write a mobile app. The app will heavily rely on maps and this is where my partner and I are not seeing eye-to-eye. I would like to go with an open source solution like OpenStreetMap that is used by Apple & Foursquare. He would like to go with Google Maps since more apps use it and has better support (according to him). Mapbox is also an option but I don’t know much about it."

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Replies (6)
Recommends
on
MapboxMapbox

I use Mapbox because We need 3D maps and navigation, it has a great plugin for React and React Native which we use. Also the Mapbox Geocoder is great.

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Blair Gemmer
Software Engineer at VYNYL · | 2 upvotes · 165.6K views
Recommends
on
Google MapsGoogle Maps

Google Maps is best because it is practically free (they give you $300 in free credits per month and it's really hard to go over the free tier unless you really mean business) and it's the best!

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Recommends
on
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap

I use OpenStreetMap because that has a strong community. It takes some time to catch up with Google Maps, but OpenStreetMap will become great solution.

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Shuuji TAKAHASHI
Recommends
on
Google MapsGoogle Maps

I use Google Maps because it has a lot of great features such as Google's rich APIs, geolocation functions, navigation search feature, street map view, auto-generated 3D city map.

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Recommends
on
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap

Its open source and we use it.

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Fabio Fraga Machado
Recommends
on
OpenStreetMapOpenStreetMap

I use OpenStreetMap because i have the control of the environment, using Docker containers or bare-metal servers.

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Pros of Leaflet
Pros of OpenStreetMap
  • 33
    Light weight
  • 28
    Free
  • 12
    Evolutive via plugins
  • 10
    OpenStreetMap
  • 9
    Strong community
  • 7
    Choice of map providers
  • 6
    Easy API
  • 3
    Alternative to Google Maps
  • 22
    Simple
  • 17
    Free
  • 9
    Open-Source
  • 7
    Open-Data
  • 1
    React/ RNative integration

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What tools integrate with Leaflet?
What tools integrate with OpenStreetMap?
What are some alternatives to Leaflet and OpenStreetMap?
OpenLayers
An opensource javascript library to load, display and render maps from multiple sources on web pages.
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Create rich applications and stunning visualisations of your data, leveraging the comprehensiveness, accuracy, and usability of Google Maps and a modern web platform that scales as you grow.
Mapbox
We make it possible to pin travel spots on Pinterest, find restaurants on Foursquare, and visualize data on GitHub.
Leaf
Leaf is a Machine Intelligence Framework engineered by software developers, not scientists. It was inspired by the brilliant people behind TensorFlow, Torch, Caffe, Rust and numerous research papers and brings modularity, performance and portability to deep learning. Leaf is lean and tries to introduce minimal technical debt to your stack.
D3.js
It is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. Emphasises on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework.
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