Build vs. Buy: Should You Build Software Using Google Maps API or Buy a Ready-Made Solution?

Google maps api

If your business needs mapping software, you have two options: build in-house software using Google Maps API or buy pre-made software. So, which option is right for you?

There are several factors to consider, which is why we’ve summarized all the most important points below to help you make the best decision for your company.


A lot of businesses assume that building a custom software solution will be less expensive. Sure, the upfront cost of in-house development will be high, but long term, the costs should be minimal, right? Well, unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Maintaining software is expensive. Bug fixes, upgrades, and ongoing support are just some of the issues you’ll have to deal with. In most cases, you’ll need to hire a dedicated team just to manage the software.

This is why many businesses buy a mapping software solution. The supplier bears all the additional costs, and since they’re much more efficient at dealing with these issues, the price you pay is usually less than it would be if you managed it yourself.

Control and Customization

The one major benefit that building in-house software provides is you have more control over your mapping solution. You can essentially build your software however you like and add custom features that suit your unique business needs.

Of course, this comes at a cost. Building custom software takes time and money, resources that are better spent elsewhere.

And this isn’t to say that if you buy mapping software from someone else, you won’t be able to get any custom features. For example, many of Maptive’s features are a result of suggestions by clients. We’re very receptive to customer feedback and are always looking to add new tools to help our clients reach their goals.

So, if you work with the right provider that’s open to your suggestions, this might be less of an issue for you.


When it comes to building vs. buying software, money isn’t the only cost you need to consider. Time spent away from your core business is also something to think about.

If you’re not in the mapping software business, then any time you spend building a custom solution is time you’re not spending developing new products, helping customers, and growing your business.

By buying an existing solution, you won’t need to pull resources away from your core business. This means you can continue to focus on what matters while also getting the mapping software you need to meet your targets.

Pros and Cons

Are you still undecided about what the right decision for your business is? Review the pros and cons of each choice to determine the best solution.

Building Software

Pros Cons
You own the technology, so you don’t have to worry about the software being discontinued. You could also sell the software to other businesses. Between the internal development, maintenance costs, and the team you’ll need to hire to manage the software, it will likely end up costing you more money than a ready-made solution. And even if you budget for this, there’s always a chance the project could end up costing more than expected.
You can build it however you like, including adding new features and tools that might not be available on other services. Building proprietary software is a major time commitment. Between planning, designing, building, and ongoing maintenance, you’ll have to devote a lot of time to something that’s not part of your core business.
You can design it to work seamlessly with your other software solutions and systems. There’s a great deal of risk involved in developing your own software. Not only could the project go over budget, but you might not be happy with the result. If the final product doesn’t live up to your expectations, then you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money on something you can’t even use.

Buying Software

Pros Cons
Purchased software is a more cost-effective option than in-house development. Because the software supplier has far more resources to devote to development and maintenance, they can perform these tasks much more efficiently, which results in a lower cost for you. You may find that there are few customization options available with purchased software. However, this is mitigated if you work with the right provider.
You don’t need to spend nearly as much time on your mapping software when buying a solution. Once you’re onboarded, there’s little work needed on your end. The supplier handles any issues moving forward. Since you are using readily available software, your competitors may also be using it, limiting your competitive advantage.
The best suppliers use feedback from their clients to build their mapping software. As a result, when you buy the software, it usually includes most or all of the features you’re looking for. And because the company you’re buying it from specializes in this service, it often works better than anything you would create in-house. You don’t own your mapping software, which means it can be changed or discontinued without your consultation. However, if you work with a provider, you trust this is less of a concern.

Learn Why More and More Businesses are Choosing Maptive

Maptive is a ready-made mapping software solution that allows you to create beautiful interactive maps easily. Sign up for a free trial today to see why a growing number of businesses are using Maptive for all their mapping needs, or visit our features page to learn more about what Maptive has to offer.

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