· 1 month ago

What Maps APIs did you consider in the early stages of your startup?

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Cofounder, Palette

Hello Travel Massive community,

I recently had the pleasure of connecting with another founder through Travel Massive, stemming from my previous post on defining product-market-fit. Our conversation delved into the exhilarating yet challenging journey of being first-time founders building startups in the travel industry.

One topic that particularly resonated with us was the exploration of Maps APIs.

As we all know, the visual aspect and functionality of maps play a crucial role in travel tools. However, for early-stage startups navigating the MVP or first iteration phase, deciding on the right Maps API can be daunting. Balancing the desire for functionality with budget constraints and the fear of surpassing trial thresholds or entering into costlier plans can be a real dilemma.

I'm sure many of you in the community have faced similar challenges. That's why I'm reaching out to gather insights and perspectives from fellow founders.

What Maps APIs did you consider in the early stages of your startup? What were the pros and cons of each? And what mindset or criteria led you to your final decision?

I'd love to hear about your experiences and any tips or advice you can share.

On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with @Amine, Founder of Mitrip. Despite our products being competitors, he was incredibly generous in sharing his story and insights. Check them out!

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Mitrip

If anyone else would like to chat, I'm more than happy to connect.

Looking forward to some enlightening discussions!

1 month ago (edited)
Founder, Mitrip

Thanks for the shoutout @Martin!

Agree this is a key challenge, I am personally using Google Maps API which has a global coverage, is easy to implement, and overall works pretty well in categorizing the points of interest (ex attraction types, food types, accommodation types, etc), but depending on how you plan to use their API, it can become highly expensive very quickly.

I had a look at OpenStreetMap at the early stages of my product development but I was struggling to correctly categorize the points of interest, which is a key component of my product / value prop. On the other hand, being a free API is definitely something worth considering, if it can meet your specific needs.

I am also exploring another API, HERE technologies (which claims to be better than Google as a location platform). While I haven't tested it out yet and can't really share about its capabilities, I think it's definitely worth looking into it to see if it could meet your needs.

1 month ago
Co-Founder, Travellerspoint

I don't know that what I considered in the early stages of my startup really is relevant any more. Google Maps didn't even exist then :) Our first mapping solution was a custom built Flash map. It did not show trip routes like our current maps do.

I can however share some of the choices made in mapping since then.

Some years ago, Google Maps was a free mapping engine and all was peachy. Then one day they decided to start charging for access and from one day to the next I was looking at a $700/month bill that I could not justify spending on that. The result was a rewrite to use open source mapping technologies.

MapboxGL was the the choice with Maptiler supplying the tiles. Then Mapbox also decided to start charging for loads of their JS making it overnight far more expensive. An open source fork of Mapbox was created - Maplibre - which is what I transitioned to. I'm quite happy with this. I would encourage you to get behind Maplibre rather than one of these commercial systems.

For tiles, I've now ended up mostly switching from Maptiler to Stadia Maps. I had some terrible support from Maptiler and found Stadia to provide better service at a cheaper price so they are now my primary supplier of map tiles.

I hope that helps give some background.

Getting POI data is a whole other game which I've never really managed to work out. I've got my own home-built POI search engine using info from Wikidata but it's very far from perfect and rather out of date now. I'd be dubious about using commercial POI data due to licensing restrictions. I'll follow the discussion to see if anyone has come across anything decent.

1 month ago
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What Maps APIs did you consider in the early stages of your startup?

What Maps APIs did you consider in the early stages of your startup? was posted by Martin Kwok in Discussion , Map , Startup , Travel Tech . Featured on Apr 16, 2024 (1 month ago). What Maps APIs did you consider in the early stages of your startup? is not rated yet.
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