Mapbox vs Leaflet

Mapbox is a popular online mapping provider, while Leaflet is an open source JavaScript library. Both of them are commonly used to build web-mapping in websites or applications. They are somehow similar, but also different; you may use them as their own or combine them together. If you want to know more about Mapbox and Leaflet, you may want to read our article below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– What is Mapbox and Leaflet
– What Mapbox and Leaflet can offer to you
– Mapbox vs Leaflet

About Mapbox
Mapbox is a provider of custom online maps for both websites and applications. The company has many famous clients, such as Foursquare, Lonely Planet, Evernote, The Weather Channel, Snapchat, and The Financial Times. The company has been rapidly growing since 2010 providing custom maps as a respond to limited offering by big provider such as Google Maps.

This company is also contributor and creator to some opens source mapping libraries and applications, such a Leaflet JavaScript, MBTiles specification, the TileMill cartography IDE and the CartoCSS map styling language and parser. Mapbox get their data from various sources including open source and proprietary data sources, such as OpenStreetMap, NASA, and DigitalGlobe. They also use data from their clients’ users, such as fitness tracking apps like Runkeeper and Strava, to identify missing data in OpenStreetMap and apply the fixes or report it to OpenStreetMap contributors.

Mapbox Features
To ease their users when they want to customize their map, Mapbox provide an online tool called the Mapbox Studio. Using this tool, customizing your map will be a breeze and no coding is needed. The interface is online and you can select based map and add layers of data from open sources like OpenStreetMap or US Geological Survey by utilizing the menus. You may choose what features that will be shown and hide at different zoom levels. You also can customize colors, width, etc.

About Leaflet
Leaflet is an open source JavaScript, which is widely used to build web-mapping applications. Leaflet was initially developed in 2011 by Vladimir Agafonkin, which is now employed by Mapbox along with a team of dedicated contributors. Leaflet supports most desktop and mobile platforms, supporting CSS3 and HTML5. It is currently one of the most popular JavaScript mapping libraries along Google Maps API and OpenLayers. It also used by popular and major web sites like Pinterest, Flickr, and FourSquare. If you are interested on similar article, you may want to read Mapbox vs Google Maps.

Leaflet Features
Leaflet will allow its users to easily display tiled web maps that hosted on public server with optional overlays. Leaflet is able to load featured data from GeoJSON files and style it to create interactive layers like markers that will show a popup when clicked. Leaflet natively supports Web Map Service layers, Vector Layers, GeoJSON layers, and Tile layers. Major leaflet objects including Rester types (Image Overlay and TileLayer), Vector types (Path, Polygon, and specific types like Circle), Grouped types (FeatureGroup, GeoJSON, and LayerGroup), Controls (Zoom, layers, and the likes).

Now, let’s compare Mapbox to Leaflet. Mapbox is a company that will provide you with map services and technology; one of Mapbox feature called Map tiles can be used in Leaflet as base maps. At the other hand Leaflet is a JavaScript API to make interactive mapping on the Internet; aside with Mapbox, it can be integrated with other tile sources, such as OpenStreetMap or other data source, such as GeoJSON. Mapbox have created a plugins for Leaflet called Mapbox.js to make it easier when integrating with their tiles but keeping the functionality in Leaflet. Users can use Mapbox.js without Mapbox tiles and use Leaflet with Mapbox tiles, so both of them are practically combinable.

Mapbox vs Leaflet

- Is a company offering you service and technology- Is an open source JavaScript library for interactive maps
- You will need to pay to get some features- Can be use for free
- Far simpler with its Mapbox Studio- You will need some knowledge on the language to use it

Now, we know what differ Mapbox with Leaflet and the decision is all yours to make. If you do have some knowledge on JavaScript, you can use both of them. But if you don’t have any knowledge about the language, in our opinion it is simpler using Mapbox Studio.

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