Google Maps is a popular default navigation and mapping app amongst Android and web users.
Millions of people have used it to find locations, check distances, and other necessary landmarks they need with much success.
With Google Maps, you can find direction easily and avoid getting lost. It also provides live updates on traffic, translates the information into foreign languages, and allows you to switch to incognito mode.
Navigation apps have become one of the essentials on everybody's smartphone, and Google Maps is one of the most popular of these. However, there are many more navigation apps to choose from if you feel Google Maps isn't working for you.
And even if you aren’t a business owner, there are lots of incredible features that Google Maps does not have. Have a look below at our list of alternatives to Google Maps and you’ll soon be on your way to better navigation.
And so began the hunt by developers, businesses, websites, and private citizens for an alternative to Google Maps, which would provide the solutions provided by mapping services.
10 Free Alternatives to Google Maps
These map apps for iOS and Android will help you avoid road closures, navigate without an internet connection and master complex public transport systems
Mapillary has been coined by one map loving writer, the “darling of the mapping world.” Originally launched in 2013 with the goal to go toe-to-toe with Google Street View, Mapillary was able to map 3 million miles of streets by 2018 (only 5 years after launching), which puts it in the same playing field as Google, who as you remember had mapped 10 million, but launched in 2007 and has considerably more resources on their side.
2. Bing Maps
Bing Maps might be one of Google Maps largest competitors, as it is the second highest market share for a search engine (although 88% followed by 6% doesn’t quite seem like first and second places, so much as first and …….is there a second place?). The interface is similar to Google Maps but cleaner and leaner without losing any features. There are layers to the maps – road, aerial, and streetside – plus public transportation and walking maps for those without a car. And there are even 3D views.
MapQuest is just as old as both Bing and Google Maps, and similarly to Google Maps, it offers both a web-based tool in addition to a mobile app, allowing you to sync your directions between your phone and computer.
TomTom is a bit different from most of the maps on this list because it has a very short lifespan in which it is free. The mobile app is only free for the first 30 days. After that there is a nominal fee of less than $2 per month (which decreases the longer subscription you register for. This is totally made up for by the fact that you are guaranteed to have an ad-free ride, with no worries about having ads pop up during your journey.
5. HERE WeGo
HERE WeGo is a mobile app that specializes in offering various forms of transportation from subway/metro/subway to bus, bike, train, trolley or ferry. It plans your road trip out to the very end, including where you can park when you arrive (which is sometimes the most time-consuming and frustrating task of all when driving). Another fun fact, HERE is owned by an A-list group of car brands, including Audi, BMW and Daimler.
6. Apple Maps
As we all know, Apple loves to make everything its own, and that goes for this Apple Maps app. The company particularly focused on creating a mapping service which allows users the most amount of anonymity as possible. Within 24 hours of broadcasting your exact location, the app blurs that location so that you are granted privacy. In addition, any saved locations are encrypted end-to-end so that Apple can’t access them.
7. Rand McNally
Rand McNally is the only map on this list which was once a real live, physical map, made of paper, which you could hold in your hand, fold the wrong way, and store in your glove compartment. In the wake of the digital age, the publishing giant rolled with the times and moved to online maps and they don’t disappoint.
Maps.me initially forewent the web version and went directly to the mobile app version of their maps (they have since created a web version). They offer some of the best offline maps, with an easy to navigate interface and unlimited number of maps for downloading, covering nearly every square yard (or meter) of the world. It’s surprising how accurately they can get, even finding small footpaths through fields in obscure locations.
9. OpenStreetMap and OsmAnd
OpenStreetMap (OSM) and OsmAnd are home-grown as they say, built by sourcing data from its community of over 2 million users from around the world. OSM is the platform for the collaboration of the mapping information which is displayed on the OsmAnd app. If in your far-flung travels, or simply driving the kids to football practice and you want to edit or add some feature to a map, you only have to register and you can assist in the creation process.
Waze was created to be a mobile app, so much so that the web version doesn’t even look like a navigation tool at first. The app lets you easily choose your destination and add other locations on the map to edit your ride. Since other Wazers can enhance their rides by adding real-time information such as accidents, speed checks, and traffic, it makes for a more social experience.
These mapping applications are the best, but each has its benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your travel plans, you have to scrutinize them and select one that best suits your needs.
If you’re always on the go, offline access is a must. If the mapping app is for your car, select one that is easy to use. And if you love exploring the city, find an app with detailed maps.
Yes, Google Maps is a beautiful mapping and navigation tool, but these maps can offer a more personalized experience if you try them out.