Until now I have used Google Maps for the display of the map and route for the EV Zone Route Planner. I have also used the Google APIs to geocode and back-geocode addresses and to calculate the route between the start and destination.
All this Google niceness is free of any charges whilst the use is low and provided I don’t charge the users of the Planner a fee. It must be completely free to the end user and the public must have unrestricted access – https://developers.google.com/maps/terms?csw=1 see Clause 9.
The planner has been a proof of concept or test version to date and from the usage stats it looks like people are using it. However, it will be untenable if the usage increases beyond the free limitations.
Moreover, the free API will only allow routes of 8 intermediate waypoints and while that may well service most EV drivers requirements it is not a good solution if drivers have to plan several routes separately just to get around this restriction.
So I have decided to put the development of the EV Planner on hold for the time being whilst I resolve these issues and this will mean a delay in further releases.
My preferred solution is to use open sources such as Open Street Map for the mapping and The Open Source Routing Machine (OSRM). The decision to use these has not yet been taken as there is a fair bit of research necessary to determine if this solution would satisfy our requirements. However, if the OSRM is not used then a similar open, API-based, routing service will be used.
Using open services like this has the added benefit of allowing us to compile the source code on our server and to then run it from our server. this will have major performance benefits and allow us better control to tailor the service to the specific requirements of the planner.
So I hope you enjoy using the Planner as it is now and find it useful and I look forward to announcing what plans we have for switching away from Google soon.