In the last six months, both Bing Maps and Google Maps have released new versions of their AJAX map controls. In this blog article we will compare the performance of each platform when displaying an increasing number of pushpins.
As this test is greatly affected by the browser you are using, we are using the latest (at the time of testing), non-beta, version of each of the major browsers. We have tested Bing Maps version 7, Bing Maps version 6.3 and Google Maps 3 allowing us to compare both the progress of the Bing Maps platform and the Google Maps platform.
The test conducted recorded how long it takes to add 1, 10, 100, 500 and 1000 pushpins to the map. Whilst plotting 1,000 pushpins on the map is probably not a sensible idea from a usability point of view, it does help demonstrate how well each platform reacts under pressure.
These charts clearly demonstrate that Bing Maps version 7 is a significant improvement in performance over its predecessor and in addition is also significantly faster than Google Maps version 3 when showing over 100 pushpins. It clearly demonstrates that irrespective of the browser, the performance order of the mapping platforms is consistent with Bing Maps version 7 outperforming the other versions in the test (and especially so in Chrome 5.0).
One aspect these test results do not demonstrate is the that we noticed that there is a considerable delay between the time the platform says that it takes to complete the task, and when the user actually sees pushpins appear on the map. Whilst this is true for Bing Maps it is considerably worse in Google Maps.
What do these results show?
Although the performance factor compared in this tests is not the only performance factor worthy of consideration (see our previous article on download size for another), these results are clearly indicative of relative performance. If performance is a key factor when choosing a mapping platform, these results would certainly indicate that the recent commitment by the Bing Maps development team to improve performance means that Bing Maps appears to lead the way in AJAX mapping platforms compared with Google Maps .
Try these tests for yourself
If you want to try the map data loading tests for yourself on your own machine the source code is available to download at http://mapperftests.codeplex.com