In 2016, Google raised the price of Google Maps, which caused a mutual client of software developers Luke Seelenbinder and Ian Wagner to ask for a more cost-effective option. When Luke and Ian couldn’t find a viable alternative to meet their client’s needs for beautiful styling, lightning-fast load times, easy configuration, and a palatable price, necessity became the mother of invention: Luke and Ian built their own map solution, Stadia Maps.
“We realized that all of this data is out there, mostly in the form of OpenStreetMap, which you can think of as the Wikipedia for map data, and that there’s a lot of ways to take that data and turn it into usable maps,” recalled Luke. After about six months of development, Luke and Ian were able to launch Stadia Maps with that client as their first customer. Roughly six months later, the company launched, which coincided with yet another Google Maps price increase. “We soon had an influx of initial customers that formed the foundation of our company,” said Luke.
Stadia Maps now helps businesses all over the globe pin their place in this world. For instance, say a business wants a map of its locations on its website. Stadia Maps provides all the base data of the cities, the towns, the countries, the roads, the mountains, lakes, rivers, and so forth. Stadia Maps also provides routing and navigation, which enables the business’s website visitors to build their own itineraries and travel routes.
“Our current customers are mostly small to medium-size businesses across a spectrum of industries, such as travel, real estate, fitness, even funeral homes,” described Luke. “From a product standpoint, we focus on delivering a clean design and a reliable package, so the infrastructure and the way the data is presented are typically better than the client’s previous solution. We also make the switch easy by offering technical assistance in navigating to Stadia Maps from an old provider.”
Stadia Maps not only provides base maps with beautiful themes, but also has a data pipeline and infrastructure that enables worldwide users to access the maps quickly and reliably. “We focus heavily on infrastructure and make careful decisions, and that has made all the difference,” Luke explained. “Our infrastructure gives us a better product and enables us to offer in some cases as much as 75% – 85% discounts on our competitors’ pricing.”
To build this infrastructure, Stadia Maps turned to Linode for cloud services. The two companies are kindred spirits in terms of their raison d’être: providing a high-value, low-cost alternative to the costly services offered by large-scale providers.
“Beyond offering a great product, what sets us apart is how we treat our customers: we save them money; provide ‘no-surprises,’ consistent billing from month to month; and are accessible to listen and truly address their concerns,” said Luke. “Does that value proposition sound familiar? It should, because it’s exactly the value that Linode provides to us as our cloud hosting provider.”
Location, Location, Location.
Luke used Linode even before he started Stadia Maps.
When Stadia Maps launched an API to provide the elevation for any location in the world, it didn’t require customers to pay any additional cost. “Elevation data is a perfect companion to route planning, especially for runners and cyclists. We were able to provide this additional feature without raising prices, thanks to Linode’s object storage offering.”
What milestones are on Stadia Maps road map for the future? “We are constantly charting a course for making improvements to our product, infrastructure, support, documentation, and business services,” said Luke. “We just want to make our customers’ lives easier.”
That drive to serve is what put Stadia Maps on the map.