When developers need access to maps it is more than just to look at the grounds with the potential for what to build. There are many aspects to consider when looking at potential sites and the buildings that may provide opportunities to developers.
At one time, developers had to hire aerial photographers, industrial drafting professionals, artists, and even surveyors to measure up the landscape on every potential site. These days, much of that same information is available within seconds of calling it up online. Fortunately, Google Maps unveiled its products in 2005 with the eventual development of ground and satellite images as well as map views that highlight roads and railways. It was a huge development when compared to the other map sites, such as MapQuest, which only showed one small area at a time. To create a whole image it took many renderings of a map to get a full picture. It was a good starting point, but not sufficiently robust for developers whose needs called for topography, photography, and artistry.
These days, Google Maps is able to provide much of what was once laborious and time-consuming efforts to create a full picture of an area. This means that different maps and views can pinpoint areas of opportunity for a development project within seconds. Meanwhile, the cloud-based nature of most programs means that the maps can be shared within an organization around the world, and across devices. View maps from a desktop, tablet, Smartphone, and other devices easily and quickly as needed.
For one, large-scale online maps for developers give a full picture of the surrounding area. This is important for the purposes of understanding topography and how the site is relational to the area that surrounds it. Are there mountains that would seem understated or fully ignored on maps from 20 years ago? Ordnance Survey have produced sets of maps that show the whole of the UK in a variety of different scales, this can be particularly useful for developers who wish to apply for planning permission.
Look at the area from the aspects of historical maps, 3D maps, aerial and even with height information as well. Those are all great tools, and it is useful for organizations to assess their level of need and the sheer volume of maps they typically need to create on a quarterly basis.
The reason is simple. It is best to start with the lowest hanging fruit that provides freely. Google Maps is free so long as the user does not call on for more than 25,000 per day over a 90-day period. In such cases where there is high-volume usage, the other map companies may provide better tools. Though, for the most part, companies are able to use Google Maps to an extent. The paid-for sites primarily use Ordnance Survey maps for which they are licensed to provide these copyrighted maps. Most planning departments require plans to be shown on OS maps at a specific scale and this is why it is advisable to use the services of such a company to provide you with large scale online maps.
The difference is in how the information is able to be presented. Some allow colorizing of a map and special icons, as well as custom pop-ups as well. These are all important when considering that many companies require professional presentations of the information either for clients or for non-technically minded individuals within a company.