Planning applications that need maps are always a bit of a challenge. You have to take into consideration multiple factors such as the scale and the detail level of your chosen maps, in order to match the requirements of your project. You need to be specific about the various functions your map should offer. If you must make your database searchable by postcode, you have to choose a map which is compliant with this requirement. There are many other such considerations app developers can’t afford to overlook when starting a new project. If you are one of them, you will probably agree with everything in this article.
This is why you have to be very careful when doing your initial planning, as the wrong choice is going to have a negative influence on the progress of your project and on the accuracy and features of your application. It would be very sad to reach an advanced stage in your project, only to discover you can’t complete it without changing the initial decisions. Maps are essential in many of these apps, so choosing the right ones is of utmost importance for the progress of such projects. There are a few good reasons why OS maps are preferred for planning applications, as you are going to see in a moment.
Ordnance Survey maps are accurate and they can be customized according to your needs. Depending on the type of app you want to plan, you are going to need different views and detail levels. Applications for cyclists and walkers have different requirements and specifications than applications for cars. When your main users are going to be the truck drivers, for instance, a map including hiking trails wouldn’t make too much sense, if any. It would only be a waste of valuable resources, as these users are never going to take a short hike nearby the parking place. This is why you can’t use just any type of map when you plan your apps. With OS maps, things are very simple, as all you have to do is to discuss your requirements, and then choose the type of map that suits your needs. There are several variants available, each of them with its features and benefits. This versatility recommends Ordnance Survey maps for such purposes.
OS maps are built in vectorial format. This means you can use them for any type of screen and viewing device you want, as they are always going to offer a seamless user experience. This makes them perfect for planning applications which look good on all Smartphones and tablets available today. Besides, real-world objects on these maps are assigned unique reference numbers. This means you can add this reference to your database without any problem. In addition, these maps are built on layers, so you can choose whether to display all of them, only the post codes or the transport routes. Since mobile users have a very limited screen to show real estate, it may be better to keep things as simple as possible, and show them only the most relevant information that would enable them to use your app.
OS maps are perfect for most types of applications because they allow postcode search. This is something very few map producers can offer, being therefore one of the strongest assets of OS maps, and one of the main reasons why developers prefer them. You can develop any type of app you can imagine, be it you want it to enable residents of a certain area to search for plumbers, locksmiths or nannies in their neighbourhood, or you only need to have the address of all houses on every street. In such situations, you may only require a simplified version of these maps, which shows only the street view, since this is everything you need to have your app running. This simplified version of the map is going to enable your application to load much faster, and with lower data transfer volumes. As most mobile users have rather limited data plans, they wouldn’t be too happy to eat up all their data with such apps and their maps. This is why being able to minimize data transfers is a very important issue, even though mobile internet is getting cheaper. There are many places in which it is still costly, so developers need to take this into consideration when planning their applications.
You can have these maps as aerial photography in rasterized format or as vectors that illustrate the topography or the roads of a certain region. The overlapping of postcodes and street addresses makes these maps the ultimate solution for programmers and companies who want to develop apps that require finding specific addresses or searching by postcode. Courier apps and cab finder apps need this feature, as they can’t work properly without it.
These were only a few reasons why Ordnance Survey maps are the first choice of so many app developers. They want a product they can rely on, a map that can be customized to suit their needs, a map that wouldn’t take a very long time to load, and a resource which is as accurate as possible. All these requirements are met by OS maps, hence their popularity among programmers of mobile applications. There may be other alternatives out there, but for one reason or another, they don’t suit just any type of project. This is why people prefer to stick to OS maps.