January 15, 2020

Having profound experience in developing projects in the logistics industry with functionality for freight transport or passenger transport, we often advice our customers on their most frequent question: which map service is better for creating routes, calculating time and distance matrix, creating efficient routes - Google Maps or Yandex Maps? There is a considerable number of players for web geo services on the market, among them are Goolge Maps, Yandex Maps, Azure Maps, OpenStreetMap, Bing Maps. But the customer's choice usually is between Yandex Maps and Google maps. These 2 are the biggest services, they have been known by users for a long time, each of us uses Yandex or Google maps almost every day to solve various issues, personal or professional.

Both Google Maps and Yandex Maps offer users map viewing around the world. When creating a route these map services calculate distance and time matrix between points, there is an option to create an efficient route in each of these services. When using either Google maps or Yandex maps you can get acquainted with the route virtually, it is possible to get the GPS coordinates of the route's points.

Here is how Google Maps and Yandex Maps differ:

1. Coverage

Yandex maps offer better, more detailed coverage of Russia and the CIS countries such as Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc. Whereas Google maps offer better coverage of the world, Europe. For our customers this means the following: if you need to create the route Moscow-Kazan for your project, or if you need to plan how to pick up passengers from different parts of the city and continue your trip to another city in Russia for example, Yandex maps is the best choice for your project to develop this functionality. Whereas if you plan to develop software for freight transport and logistic services in Europe, Google maps is the right choice for you.

2. The accuracy of distance and time matrix

It has long been considered that Google maps create more detailed and efficient routes than other web geo services. Most users noted that Google maps calculate both distance and travel time for the route more accurately than Yandex maps. At the moment, these 2 services are very similar when it comes to calculating the distance and time for the route. At the beginning of 2019 Yandex corrected the algorithm for calculating these parameters, the corrections made the service much better. At the moment the 2 services offer very similar parameters when calculating distance and time for the rotes both in Russia and Europe.

Let's compare the services

Route Moscow-Nizhnyi Novgorod

Yandex Maps
420 km
6 hours 10 minutes

Google Maps
422 km
6 hours 22 minutes

Route Minsk-Vienna

Yandex maps
1200 km
13 hours 57 minutes

Yandex Maps Route Minsk Vienna


Google Maps
1217 km
13 hours 20 minutes

Google Maps route Minsk Vienna

Returning to paragraph 1 "Coverage", we usually advise customers whose projects offer logistics services on the territory of the CIS countries and Russia to use Yandex Maps API keys to calculate distance and time. On the other hand if the customer's project specializes on freight or passenger transport in Europe or the US, we offer such customers to use Google Maps services.

3. Traffic jams

One of the strong advantages of Yandex maps over Google maps is more accurate traffic information. This moment is critical when choosing a web geo service for customers who plan to develop a taxi application or a carpooling service for example.

Google Maps vs Yandex Maps

4. Cost

Let's compare the cost for Distance Matrix API for these two services.

Yandex maps

Yandex Distance Matrix API provides opportunity to create routes within Russia and the CIS countries taking into account current, probable and historical traffic jams. Distance calculation is provided for all the necessary combinations of departure and destination points.

The cost for API key depends on the number of requests for API products per day. For example, if you need up to 1000 requests per day for your project, then the minimum annual payment will be 120,000 rubles (~ 1970 US dollars). It is about 165 USD per month. If the daily limit is exceeded, then the cost for each extra 1000 requests is 120 rubles. (~ 1.98 USD).

If the number of requests you need for your project is 10,000 per day, then you will have to pay Yandex about 360,000 rubles (~ 5,900 USD) per year, that is about 490 USD per month. Moreover, if the limit is exceeded, then for each extra 1000 requests you will need to pay 36 rubles.

Google maps

You need to get a license key. The payment for using the API key is made every month. Google provides a free monthly limit of 200 USD. You pay the amount exceeding the limit of 200 USD, and each request is paid separately.

If the number of requests per month is up to 100,000, then the cost per 1000 requests is 5 USD (or 0.005 USD per request).

If the number of requests per month varies from 100,000 to 500,000 requests, then the cost per 1000 requests is $ 4 (or 0.004 USD per request).

Let's sum up the information above - if your project offers logistics services on the territory of Europe, we advise to use Google Maps services. For projects with logistics services on the territory of Russia and the CIS countries Yandex Maps services would be the best choice.

Natalia Khizhevskaya