I have a contract handed to me to create a google map interface for a real estate company where the area they are operating is moving sales around in extremely high volume. To date, I have created 12 maps of polygons of zip code boundaries. The 12 maps are attached to a single, multi-column spreadsheet in Google fusion tables, and each map uses a different column to create a value-based fill color.

Now I'm being asked to create heatmaps for each zip code. Unfortunately we are looking at thousands of markers per zip code, and potentially we will need to heatmap zipcode against zipcode. The Proof Of Concept zipcode has over 16,000 markers (lots of homes).

My question is this: At what point do you tell your client that google maps will not work this far for you, and you MUST think about switching to a GIS server (ie. mapserver) to manage your interface?

Of note, he is renting these maps out as service for real estate managers around the area, so the traffic on this website will be high.

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I assume that you have the Enterprise Agreement with Google (since Google Maps APIs Terms restrict you to a public website with no fee charges otherwise). The Enterprise solution is decent and if adding new points with attributes to the map and creating heatmaps are the main tasks, I can't imagine why would you need to move to a "GIS Server" at all. See Right Move case study, if it's good for them it's likely to be good for your customers. I would be surprised if you have more than 25K map loads per day as allowed in the Enterprise Agreement.

Moving to a Web Mapping Server (as oppose to a service like Google Maps APIs or ArcGIS Online) requires data as well, for example base mapping and address base (don't count on Google's as they Terms don't allow consuming the tiles or using the geocode without the map).

From my experience with Fusion Layers they stand up to the 100,000 limit without any performance issues and are a better way than KML. Since heatmap is a client side function of Google maps, you should take it offline like they do in Zoopla: Zoopla heatmap

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I would assume that there is some sort of documentation, or bylaw in the contract stating that the services are contingent upon the capabilities of the Google API, you're the subject matter expert, I would move forward ASAP so you're not wasting his time or yours in developing a product that doesn't meet the clients needs.

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