Google v Streetmap newbie question

Hi All,

I noticed you guys courtesy of the register at:

Well impressed with the movement over the last few years!!

I’m looking at a few projects that could contribute data to this initiative and gain further recognition. I’ve been looking at google maps and the API is very good e.g. adding markers, polygons, etc. I prefer Open route but I need to know if there is a similar set of APIs for OSM.

Is there a comparison of Google Maps v OSM?

The project(s) I’m looking are quite long term so if current state is far behind Google not so much of a problem but to get some funding for the projects (hence data, popularity, and possibly further funding) then it would be nice to demonstrate the most powerful capabilities. I’ve spent full day looking at what you guys have so far - impressed but I’m still a newbie so I’m still ignorant.

All posts, even the nasty ones appreciated.

Well, strictly speaking you can’t compare Google Maps with OSM directly because Google Maps is a webservice (slippy map) and renderer on top of a database containing geographic information while OSM is only providing the geographic data (the planet dumps).

The OSM dataset is mostly used in combination with PostGIS database, OpenLayers slippy map and the Mapnik renderer. These projects combined give about the same result as Google Maps.

Creating your own slippy map gives you virtually complete freedom to do with the data as you see fit. Want a beer map (show pubs and pub crawl routes)? Show WWII battle sites or graveyards? Alter rendering in such ways that cycleways a dominant over highways (example)? Not a problem, you are only limited by your imagination :slight_smile:

If you’d like a Google Maps-like API for OpenStreetMap, you should have a look at OpenLayers or Mapstraction. Both provide the point/polygon-drawing functionality that you’d expect from Google Maps: indeed, Mapstraction’s raison d’etre is to provide a common API that can be used with Google, OSM, Yahoo and several others.