Mapbox

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Mapbox
TypePrivate
IndustryMaps
Founded2010; 13 years ago (2010)
FounderBonnie Bogle
Eric Gundersen Edit this on Wikidata
Headquarters,
U.S.
Key people
  • Peter Sirota (CEO)
  • Eric Gundersen (CSO)
RevenueIncrease $100 million (2019)[1]
Number of employees
650+[2]
Websitemapbox.com

Mapbox is an American provider of custom online maps for websites and applications such as Foursquare, Lonely Planet, the Financial Times, The Weather Channel, Instacart Inc. and Snapchat.[3] Since 2010, it has rapidly expanded the niche of custom maps, as a response to the limited choice offered by map providers such as Google Maps.[3]

Mapbox is the creator of, or a significant contributor to, some open source mapping libraries and applications, including the Mapbox GL-JS JavaScript library (open source before version 2[4]), the TileMill cartography IDE, the Leaflet JavaScript library, and the CartoCSS map styling language and parser.

As of October 2020, Mapbox had a valuation of $1 billion.[5]

History[edit]

The startup[3] was created as a part of Development Seed in order to offer map customization for non-profit customers, in 2010. It was bootstrapped until a 2013 $10 million Series A funding round by Foundry Group.[6] In June 2015, Mapbox announced it had raised $52.55 million in a Series B round of funding led by DFJ Growth.[7]

Early work on OpenStreetMap tools, including the iD editor, was funded by a $575,000 grant from the Knight Foundation.[8]

On July 11, 2016, MapQuest discontinued the open tile API[9] and users such as GNOME Maps were switched to a temporarily free tier of the Mapbox tileserver,[10] while considering alternatives.[11]

In October 2017, SoftBank led a $164 million investment in Mapbox Inc., with other existing investors including venture-capital firms Foundry Group, DFJ Growth, DBL Partners and Thrive Capital.[12] In November 2017, Mapbox acquired the Belarus-based neural network startup Mapdata.[13]

In January 2018, Mapbox acquired the team behind the open-source routing engine Valhalla.[14]

In December 2020, Mapbox released the second version of their JavaScript library for online display of maps, Mapbox GL JS. Previously open source code under a BSD license, the new version switched to proprietary licensing. This resulted in a fork of the open source code, MapLibre GL, and initiation of the MapLibre project.

In March 2021, the company appointed a new chief executive officer Peter Sirota, replacing Eric Gundersen who has been with Mapbox since 2010.[15]

In June 2021, workers at Mapbox announced that a group of employees had signed union authorization cards to be represented by the Communication Workers of America through CODE-CWA.[16] The union election, which followed in August, failed with 123 "no" votes cast versus 81 in favor.[17] In June 2022, an article on Protocol.com[18] was released describing union-busting tactics used at Mapbox. One the same day, the NLRB issued a complaint[19] against Mapbox for threats and firing union organizers. A court date is set for October 3, 2022.

Data sources and technology[edit]

The data is taken from open data sources, such as OpenStreetMap and NASA, and from purchased proprietary data sources, such as DigitalGlobe.[20][21] The technology is based on Node.js,[22] Mapnik, GDAL, and Leaflet.

Mapbox uses anonymized data from telemetry pings, such as Strava and RunKeeper, to identify likely missing data in OpenStreetMap with automatic methods, then manually applies the fixes or reports the issue to OSM contributors.[23][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Right Direction: How Mapbox is Winning over Developers to Challenge Google's Mapping Dominance". Forbes.
  2. ^ "Our Team". Mapbox. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "The New Cartographers". The Washington Post. 22 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ "mapbox-gl 2.0.0". NPM. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  5. ^ Efrati, Amir; Bastone, Nick (8 October 2020). "A New Target in Antitrust Battle Against Google: Maps". The Information (company).
  6. ^ Lomas, Natasha. "Mapbox Closes $10M Series A From Foundry Group To Build The Future Of Interactive, Mobile Maps". TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  7. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "Mapbox Raises $52.6M Led By DFJ To Be The "Map Layer" For All Apps". Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  8. ^ Franzen, Carl (21 September 2012). "Mapbox Aims For Open Source, Digital Map Revolution". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  9. ^ "GNOME Maps and the tile problem". 2016-07-27.
  10. ^ Mattias Bengtsson. "Tiles and Mapbox".
  11. ^ "Bug 764841 – Stop Using MapQuest Tile Server".
  12. ^ Higgins, Tim (October 10, 2017). "SoftBank Leads $164 Million Bet on Digital-Mapping Startup Mapbox". Wall Street Journal. New York City, New York, United States. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  13. ^ "Mapbox acquires neural network startup Mapdata to help it expand into AR maps". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  14. ^ "Mapbox makes another acquisition to bolster its navigation toolkits". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  15. ^ "SoftBank-Backed Mapbox Names New CEO to Go After Carmakers". Bloomberg.com. 2021-03-01. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  16. ^ Ford, Brody (June 15, 2021). "Mapbox Faces Union Drive as Labor Organizers Extend Push in Tech". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 15, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Union Drive at SoftBank-Backed Mapbox Fails at the Ballot Box". Bloomberg.com. 2021-08-05. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  18. ^ "The real reasons Big Tech hates unions". 15 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Mapbox sued by labor regulators for firing union organizers". 15 June 2022.
  20. ^ A Cloudless Atlas — How Mapbox Aims to Make the World’s ‘Most Beautiful Map’, Wired, 14 May 2013
  21. ^ "Map Data: Stick a Pin in It". The Economist. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  22. ^ Nugent, Dave. "Node.js Future & Drupal". Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  23. ^ Barth, Alex (29 June 2017). "You may just have updated the map with your RunKeeper route".
  24. ^ "mapbox/mapping". GitHub.

External links[edit]