Creating an iOS app with maps? Should you use MapKit or the BA3 Mapping Engine?
Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 3:38 pm by — Category: Tools

Are you about to start creating a new app on iOS that uses maps? Should you use MapKit or the BA3 Mapping Engine to create your app?

Mapkit is the default tool to use, especially for simple things. But have you considered what you can gain by stepping up to a real mapping engine? The thing about Mapkit is that it puts severe constraints on what you will be able to do with your map. The time you spend creating Version 1.0 in Mapkit is often wasted when you want to add any advanced features. Mapkit also has performance issues that may be uncomfortable to your user base, giving your users a bad impression of your app and its capabilities.

Here are some of the capabilities that you gain, and some of the things that you can do in the BA3 Mapping Engine, that would never be possible in Mapkit:

  1. The ability to easily use any tile provider, as well as multiple tile providers. For example, choose MapBox, Mapquest, Stamen or other tile sets for your apps.
  2. The ability to have hundreds of thousands of markers that come in instantly from your servers or live on the device for connection-free access.
  3. The ability to create multiple layers, as seen in the following screen shot. This shot demonstrates a base map using MapBox tiles, overlaid with a dynamic route, overlaid with markers showing wind barbs, overlaid with a polygon layer:


    Would you like to overlay with an animated satellite cloud layer, and zoom out to planetary scale? No problem:

    planet-imageAll of those layers can all be on the screen at once and pan/zoom performance remains excellent.
  4. The ability to add terrain knowledge to your map.
  5. Easily create clickable areas on your map. Create clickable markers, clickable polygons, etc.
  6. If you like, load all your data onto the device, or pull all of your data in real-time from your server, or do a combination.
  7. Do all of this with very little code. We can show you how to do nearly anything you can imagine with your map.

Do you want to start with Mapkit and end up locked into a super-simple mapping engine? Or do you want to start with a Mapping Engine that can handle just about anything you can imagine with high-performance and high-reliability? Before starting your next mapping app, take a few minutes to learn about and try out the BA3 Mapping engine here.

If you have questions about Altus products and services, the demonstration code or licensing, please contact us at: [email protected]. Also, any feedback, comments or suggestions that you have are always greatly appreciated.