The fastest route to success
How Mapbox bested giants and put itself on the map in navigation
David vs. Goliath
Mapping a path
The key to cars and logistics
Foundational dataMapbox combines geospatial data and imagery from more than 150 high-quality commercial, government, and open data sources from around the world to produce a comprehensive global foundation of location data.
Continuous enrichmentMapbox updates the foundational data with insights derived from AI and user feedback, processing petabytes of sensor data from hundreds of millions of location-enabled vehicles and devices every day to deliver near real-time map changes and navigation data.
High-performance data deliveryMapbox processes its location data into Vector Tiles, a format developed in-house to enable efficient delivery of geodata to applications, allowing for smoother map loading and styling. Dedicated APIs stream location data for use with navigation features or location search.
Fast and flexible renderingUsing a variety of Mapbox services, developers build web and mobile applications that apply styling instructions to render a visual map efficiently. Navigation and Search APIs deliver route optimization and turn-by-turn directions, and enable location lookup by name, category, or coordinates.
Styling and customizationMapbox customers tailor applications to their needs, using a standard Mapbox style or unique design. Custom data layers integrate seamlessly into the Mapbox basemap. Developers have the flexibility to build location-driven app features for a unique and engaging user experience.
How to compete with a giant. Five lessons from Mapbox’s success.
Pick your spots. You can’t do everything, so find a market niche where you can add real value. Mapbox chose not to go head-to-head with Google on a consumer map, instead zeroing in on developers who demanded customization and high-touch service.
Obsess over customer needs. Mapbox leaders and engineers engage in deep discussions with their customers’ execs and developers. Learnings are integrated into the company’s product through a methodical planning process. And highly complex mapping tech is delivered along with tutorials, demos, and resources that allow developers to move fast.
Run faster. Large companies are often slowed by layers of decision makers. Take advantage of your ability to make speedier decisions while staying focused on your vision.
Make bold bets. A copycat product won’t do. Given the clunkiness of voice assistants, Mapbox saw an opportunity to leverage generative AI to create a better experience for car drivers. MapGPT beat rivals to market with a more powerful solution that car makers are embracing.
Find a differentiated business model. For Google, car navigation software is partly about collecting data and selling ads. Mapbox sells technology to enable automakers to control the experience and build their own businesses around it.