If the location of your business or organisation is important to you then including a map showing where you are is a great feature. You may be a bricks and mortar shop, in which case you definitely want people to be able to find you. Or, like us, you may be a business which has clients come to your office for meetings. In which case, a map can be really useful.
Up until recently, our go-to mapping service has been Google Maps. It’s the standard isn’t it? If you think of a location map you tend to think Google, right?
But recently Google has changed the rules. They have introduced a system whereby you need to register your credit card details with them to be able to show a Google Map and if your map is used over a certain number of times you will be charged for it.
As a small business you may not find this results in any actual charges, but do you really want to have to give your credit card details to Google on the off-chance?
From our perspective as website designers this has made us rethink our approach to using Google Maps. Up until now we would create the API Key needed for the map in our own Google account. This is much easier for our clients rather than having to create it for themselves. But we’re now thinking that might not be the best way of doing it. We can still offer Google Maps but there will be a bit more to setting them up.
OpenStreetMap is a project designed to offer a map of the world which is free to use under an open license. This means we can use it without having to generate an API Key, or ask our clients to register their credit card details. And, even better, we have created an account with the project so that we can help develop the map. Which means if we find a client’s business isn’t accurately represented on the map we can update it.
This is all quite new to us, but we’re excited about where this might take us. If you’re interested in having an OpenStreetMap added to your website please contact us.