Google Maps alternatives - services at a glance

Google Maps alternatives - services at a glance

Google Maps enjoys great popularity worldwide. What many do not know: The service constantly collects information about its users and their location. Google Maps alternatives present users with other options related to navigation. There is a wide variety of map services that respect users' data and process only technically necessary data.

Alternatives to Google Maps - these options are available

Similar to the fact that there are many alternative search engines to Google, there is also a wide variety of Google Maps alternatives. From offline alternatives to outdoor mapping apps and apps specialized in public transport - the various map services differ in many ways. The following Google Maps alternatives have been examined with regard to their functionality and privacy:

· OpenStreetMap (OSM)
· Apple Maps
· Bing Maps
· OsmAnd
· Navmii
· Sygic Maps

OpenStreetMap (OSM) as an alternative to Google Maps

OpenStreetMap is run by private individuals and associations scattered all over the world. It is a non-profit project that is available to users free of charge. The project does not pursue commercial interests and consequently does not collect marketing-related data, which makes the service a good choice in terms of privacy. It can be used offline and complies with all EU GDPR guidelines. While it has fewer features in terms of navigation, route planning, view and timetables, it gives a detailed overview on which bike and hiking routes are also visible.

HERE WeGo - the Google Maps alternative from Nokia

HERE WeGo was originally developed by Nokia and is now used as a navigation solution by many well-known car brands such as Audi, Mazda, BMW and Renault. It complies with any EU GDPR guidelines, and also deletes timestamps and GPS location when the app is closed. HERE WeGo includes a large network of points of interest and offers intuitive features such as lane assist and speed assist. Traffic data is transmitted in real time so that users always have an overview of changes, and users also receive suggestions for alternative routes.

Apple Maps - the data-safe Google Maps alternative

The Google Maps alternative or equivalent for Apple users. Although Apple as a tech giant has room for improvement in terms of data protection, the company still has a better reputation than Google or Microsoft, for example. The service fits seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem (easy synchronization, etc.) and has many intuitive features that can also be found in Google Maps. The disadvantage of Apple Maps is that the service only runs on Apple devices.

Bing Maps - another modern Google Maps alternative

Bing Maps is very similar to Google Maps in terms of available features. It integrates well with other Microsoft products, such as the Office suite. In terms of privacy, it is questionable whether Bing Maps is a good Google Maps alternative - there are definitely better options here.

OsmAnd - Google Maps alternative with offline function

OsmAnd is based - as the name suggests - on OpenStreetMap data. Users can choose between a free version and a paid premium version. The advantage of this business model is that OsmAnd does not rely on selling user data to generate income. In this respect, OsmAnd is a good Google Maps alternative in terms of data protection, which also comes with offline functions. Thus, map data can be downloaded, which allows users to navigate without a connection to the Internet. The routing is particularly good with OsmAnd because it is based on the data of OSM, which is constantly updated by users. The program complies with all EU GDPR guidelines.

Navmii also obtains its data from OSM. This Google Maps alternative is particularly user-friendly and is used by various well-known companies. Navmii transmits traffic data in real time, directs users by voice and shows alternative routes - whether bicycle, car, bus or train. The data processing is minimal and limited to the essentials, so that the app is much more privacy-friendly than Google Maps. The app contains features for sale that are by no means absolutely necessary - the majority of the features are free. Thanks to offline maps, users can also use the app without the Internet.

Sygic Maps - Google Maps alternative with modern features

Sygic Maps is another good Google Maps alternative. The app is available in a free and a paid premium version. Especially the premium version shines here with various intuitive features, such as sign recognition, radar detectors and offline maps in 3D. The privacy policy explains exactly what data is collected and stored.

Google Maps Alternatives - Privacy is important!

In an increasingly digitalized world, data protection is becoming more and more important. Tech giants such as Microsoft or Google, but also smaller apps, monitor users' behavior and compile this into a picture that contains information about their habits, preferences and daily routes. Possible consequences include not only personalized advertising but also serious data breaches and misuse, depending on who gets hold of this data.

Location data in particular is sensitive, as it can be used to find out where users regularly stay, where they work, and where they live. The use of a Google Maps alternative is therefore a significant step in the direction of data protection, which can be supplemented by various measures. For example, the use of an anonymous search engine contributes to the protection of privacy, and a conscious use of cookies (What are cookies?) is also significant. If users want to go one step further, they can also browse anonymously with a VPN.