I need advice about geolocation services and geocoding

So first of all greetings. I´d like to ask some advice about geolocation and your experience with different services available.

Full disclosure: this is a non graded project (to research and learn) for my college coding club. We´re working with a research team of electrical engineers to create a proposal for a system of electric vehicles (green project) and the part we’re working on is planning the setting off charging stations across the city.

My proposal was to create a mobile app to track (with consent) the travel routes of a number of taxi drivers across the city. This will be done by periodically logging the geolocation and the hour/time of the vehicle/mobile with the app and registering in an internal database (SQlite) and dumping the day info daily on Firebase (or something similar) to later process the most common route intersection points (to then set up the charging stations there) …or at least that’s what i figured could be done, now the hard part is that i don’t know how to do any of that (hence research) so any advice on these topics would be welcome:

  • As far as i can tell this is basically a fleet tracking app but since the requirements are that we build everything from scratch (this IS a learning project for college) AND that we keep cost to minimum (free tier preferable), i’m not sure if the free tier of Google Geo API is what i need (honestly i’m a bit confused on their pricing plan criteria), so any advice or your experience with geocoding will be welcome.

  • I’m assuming that the geo call will be done on a 30 second interval over a period of 8-12 hours, this is 960-1440 calls daily per vehicle and if i wanted accurate data i will need at least 20 vehicles (is a small town all things considered), so around 19200-28800 calls daily all told …which wipes out the free tier of Google Geolocation in 2 days flat (if i got my math and understanding of their service correctly) Is this excessive? is there any service that can do at least half this much on a free tier?

  • I think this can be done with an absolutely minimalist android Geo API app, but i haven’t studied mobile development yet so i may be wrong (another thing to study here).

  • The data processing could be done by someone else but i may need to do so myself so any advice on how to do that will also be welcome.

…I’m probably not ready to do this kind of thing, I know my HTML/CSS/JS (basics) but we’re just starting PHP and dbs this semester so while i kind of know what could be done i have no idea on how to implement this project. I humbly ask for advice on how to start, :sweat_smile:

Thank you for your time and have a nice day.