To Google or Not to Google? Cost/Benefit Analysis Of Rolling Your Own Maps

Sebastian Delmont (
Business & Strategy Yerba Buena Salon 9

We’ve had it easy for a long while, with Google offering a large list of mapping and geolocation services pretty much for free, pretty much for everybody. But now they’ve placed a price tag on those services, which means it’s time to decide if the price is fair, based on what benefits you get for your money, and based on what it would cost you to replace them with other paid, free or open alternatives.

We will go over the services Google offers as part of their Maps API, look at alternatives for each one, consider switching costs, operational costs, functional comparisons and intangibles. We won’t answer the question for you, but you will get plenty of data points to make a more informed decision and you’ll get a sense of when is rolling your own maps a good bet, and when is Google your best choice.

Photo of Sebastian Delmont

Sebastian Delmont

Since his business card at wasn’t big enough to include “senior developer”, “lead architect”, “interaction designer”, “information architect”, “vp of infrastructure”, “founder” and “graphics designer”, he went with the shorter “awesome geek”.

Sebastian has more than 15 years of experience as a Web Developer, and more than 11 as a New Yorker.

  • Esri
  • AT&T Interactive
  • Google
  • Nokia, Location & Commerce
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • Control Group
  • Localeze
  • MyCityWay
  • Socrata
  • Urban Airship
  • MapQuest

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