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OpenLayers vs OpenStreetMap: What are the differences?

OpenLayers: A high-performance, feature-packed library for all your mapping needs. An opensource javascript library to load, display and render maps from multiple sources on web pages; OpenStreetMap: The free editable map of the whole world. OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.

OpenLayers and OpenStreetMap can be categorized as "Mapping APIs" tools.

Some of the features offered by OpenLayers are:

  • Tiled Layers - Pull tiles from OSM, Bing, MapBox, Stamen, MapQuest, and any other XYZ source you can find. OGC mapping services and untiled layers also supported.
  • Fast & Mobile Ready - Mobile support out of the box. Build lightweight custom profiles with just the components you need.
  • Vector Layers - Render vector data from GeoJSON, TopoJSON, KML, GML, and a growing number of other formats.

On the other hand, OpenStreetMap provides the following key features:

  • Local Knowledge
  • Community Driven
  • Open Data

"Flexibility" is the top reason why over 8 developers like OpenLayers, while over 9 developers mention "Simple" as the leading cause for choosing OpenStreetMap.

OpenLayers is an open source tool with 5.17K GitHub stars and 1.97K GitHub forks. Here's a link to OpenLayers's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, OpenStreetMap has a broader approval, being mentioned in 38 company stacks & 15 developers stacks; compared to OpenLayers, which is listed in 7 company stacks and 4 developer stacks.

Advice on OpenLayers 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)
Blair Gemmer
Software Engineer at VYNYL · | 2 upvotes · 104.3K views
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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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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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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Its open source and we use it.

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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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Fabio Fraga Machado

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

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Pros of OpenLayers
Pros of OpenStreetMap
  • 13
  • 10
  • 7
    Incredibly comprehensive, excellent support
  • 7
    Open Source
  • 4
    Choice of map providers
  • 3
    Low Level API
  • 3
  • 3
    Strong community
  • 20
  • 16
  • 9
  • 7
  • 1
    React/ RNative integration

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What is OpenLayers?

An opensource javascript library to load, display and render maps from multiple sources on web pages.

What is OpenStreetMap?

OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Jobs that mention OpenLayers and OpenStreetMap as a desired skillset
United States of America Ohio Cleveland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland England London
What companies use OpenLayers?
What companies use OpenStreetMap?
See which teams inside your own company are using OpenLayers or OpenStreetMap.
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What tools integrate with OpenLayers?
What tools integrate with OpenStreetMap?
    No integrations found

    Blog Posts

    What are some alternatives to OpenLayers and OpenStreetMap?
    Leaflet is an open source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps. It is developed by Vladimir Agafonkin of MapBox with a team of dedicated contributors. Weighing just about 30 KB of gzipped JS code, it has all the features most developers ever need for online maps.
    Google Maps
    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.
    We make it possible to pin travel spots on Pinterest, find restaurants on Foursquare, and visualize data on GitHub.
    it is used to create the leading web-based globe and map for visualizing dynamic data. We strive for the best possible performance, precision, visual quality, ease of use, platform support, and content.
    It is a geographic information system for working with maps and geographic information. It is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and much more.
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