As Google Maps Engine’s run comes to an end, CartoDB positions itself as the best mapping alternative

- January 23, 2015

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Google announced this week the sunset of Google Maps Engine, the browser based application from the search giant that allows users to upload their own map data and have it displayed as layers above Google Maps. Many were surprised about this decision, but Madrid-based CartoDB probably wasn’t.

Just as rumours started flying about GME’s end, CartoDB announced that it has been working “closely” with Google to create CartoDB on Google Platform, a product that has positioned itself as one of the best alternatives to all of those developers and users who have relied on GME up until now.

While both products are very similar, CartoDB has published a blog post outlining the main differences between them.

It’s worth pointing out that, contrary to what many have said over the past few days, this announcement from Google does not mean that an end for Google’s Maps API is coming. It will stay intact and CartoDB even claims that “CartoDB for Google Cloud ensures that GME customers will have all the power of Google Maps API available on CartoDB”.

Users or developers that have a Google Maps Engine account and have built vizualisations using GME have until January 29, 2016 to find an alternative. CartoDB says that it will help migrate users’ data so that they can start using their tool right away, without losing any data.

This represents another milestone in CartoDB’s prominent career. After being bootstrapped for more than 5 years, the company raised its first round of financing in 2014 ($8 million, led by Berlin-based Earlybird VC) and it continues to push the gas pedal.

Jaime Novoa

Jaime Novoa is the Founder of Novobrief. He is a technology writer turned investor at Madrid's K Fund. He was also a data analyst at