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We often get the question, what exactly is Google Maps Platform? Moreover, what is the difference with GIS? To answer these questions, we will first look at the basics: what are these tools and their capabilities.

Google Maps Platform = consumer maps

Google Maps, the most used navigation application, everyone knows it. However, the Google Maps Platform is more than just a navigation application. Simply put, the Google Maps navigation consists of many different features, such as: calculating different routes and distances, StreetView, finding a restaurant and looking up its details, and so on. 

All these features can be used for your solution, in combination or separately. For example, some customers only want to display contact details for their locations. The Google Maps Platform is mostly used by the B2C sector. Think of food delivery apps, store locators and real estate apps or websites. In addition, these pieces of Google Maps Platform are part of a larger whole, namely, the Google Cloud environment. Google Cloud makes it possible to enrich the data of Google Maps with the help of Machine Learning or Big Query, among others.

GIS = Geographical Information System

In-depth technical analyses with a location component in the data are typical uses for/of a GIS system. Visualising COVID-19 figures and, for example, seeing how the distribution evolves over time. Calculating the best location for a windmill, taking into account all environmental factors, are two examples that are solved with a GIS system in practice. 

What are the specific differences between Google Maps Platform and GIS?

  • GIS is often used internally to make decisions
  • with a GIS system, you pay for the system and the software, Google Maps Platform is based on consumption
  • Google Maps Platform is used by consumers in 90% of the cases so by B2C companies
  • Often they are real GIS experts working with GIS systems, knowledge of location data is a requirement
  • Google Maps Platform can easily be implemented by almost any developer

For which part can I use Localyse’s expertise?

Both! In addition to being a Google Cloud Premier partner, Localyse notices that the two worlds are increasingly intersecting. As a company, we are part of the GeoSquare cluster, a cluster with a great deal of expertise and knowledge regarding location data. It is possible that Google Maps Platform will not be able to solve the question. If this is the case, we look further into how we can solve the question. Localyse is a real veteran at finding the way to the solution, so please feel free to contact us.