History

We create tools for anyone to design and publish custom maps. Over the last couple of years, our team has built our platform using open source software and open data. We are based in Washington, DC and San Francisco, funded by Foundry Group, and we're just getting started.

2010

Mapbox Founded

As a small team in Washington, DC, we help international NGOs make more data-driven decisions through mapping – from mapping malaria in western Africa to working on the ground mapping the Afghanistan elections. Maps help to show the stories in the data, but the tools at this time all focus on desktop and PDFs. So we start Mapbox, and dogfood the open source tools we build to make fast and beautiful maps.

2011

January

MBTiles spec drafted

Tom MacWright and Justin Miller collaborate on MBTiles — a new cross-platform, offline-capable map transport format. The open spec is made available on GitHub and adopted by a wide variety of applications.

February

TileMill released

The open source map design studio allows users to create maps from custom data. Tom MacWright leads development of the CartoCSS language and UTFGrid interaction spec. The desktop suite is powered by Mapnik and node.js.

April

Mapbox.com launched

We launch our map publishing platform including custom map uploads, HTML embeds, and web services. The service is offered to enterprise users at $499/mo. Early adopters include the FCC, White House, and Department of Education.

New class of maps powered by Mapbox

The World Food Programme, ONE, NPR, Energy.gov and the FCC integrate maps into their campaigns, stories, data visualizations and more.

June

CartoCSS styles for OpenStreetMap released

AJ Ashton releases CartoCSS styles for TileMill demonstrating street-level cartography using OpenStreetMap data. The styles are open source and available on GitHub.

December

Mapbox expands service

Plans starting at $5 a month allow organizations of any size to afford high performance custom maps. Image compositing, detailed usage stats, and automated billing make it possible for users to sign up and publish maps immediately.

2012

January

TileMill for Windows

Dane Springmeyer pioneers cross-platform use of node.js for high performance desktop apps across Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. TileMill gains access to the Mapbox open data catalog and the ability to publish maps directly to Mapbox.

February

Mapbox Streets launched

AJ Ashton combines beautiful clean cartography with the detail and coverage of OpenStreetMap data. We develop an innovative new rendering technique for serving maps to a worldwide audience of any size with high performance and scalability.

foursquare switches to Mapbox

The social location-based mobile app integrates Mapbox Streets with its web application. foursquare joins the growing OpenStreetMap movement.

April

Mapbox iOS SDK released

Justin Miller develops the full-featured open source Mapbox iOS SDK for tight integration between Mapbox and iOS apps. The developer toolkit features custom styles, vector layers, and unlimited caching for offline use.

May

Mapnik 2.1

Artem Pavlenko leads development of advanced image compositing features in Mapnik. Filters, clipping, and post-production operations add Photoshop-like image manipulation to the core rendering library of TileMill.

July

mapbox.js released

Tom MacWright and Ansis Brammanis bring together multiple open source libraries into a unified mapping API. Detailed documentation and examples make it easy for developers to dive into map integration.

August

Mapbox Terrain launched

Young Hahn works with AJ Ashton to process terabytes of open elevation and landcover data. The resulting terrain imagery integrates seamlessly into Mapbox Streets.

Thousands of users adopt Mapbox

Mapbox powers key web and mobile apps like foursquare, Evernote, Bass Pro Shops, Lanyrd, Hipmunk, The Silent History, and Weather Decision Technologies.

September

Mapbox partners with Knight to improve OpenStreetMap

The Knight Foundation announces a grant of $575,000 to us to improve the core infrastructure of OpenStreetMap. Alex Barth leads the Mapbox team and focuses on improving editing, making the experience more social, and making it easier to get data out of OpenStreetMap.

October

Publishing from ESRI ArcGIS to Mapbox

Will White works with Arc2Earth creator Brian Flood to enable ArcGIS users to publish maps directly to Mapbox using Arc2Earth. The open MBTiles spec powers interoperability between ESRI tools and Mapbox.

USA Today powers election night maps with Mapbox

USA Today's 2012 election dashboard features live-updating maps designed for mobile and web. Dave Cole leads advanced tech that withstands torrential traffic on election night.

December

Mapbox Satellite powered by open data and satellite leader Digital Globe

We combine open data with hi-res imagery from commercial satellite provider Digital Globe to launch Mapbox Satellite. Chris Herwig and Young Hahn lead acquisition and processing of hundreds of terabytes of open aerial imagery.

2013

February

Mapbox establishes presence in San Francisco

As Mapbox began to grow rapidly in the Bay Area, a small team started working out of the Code for America office at 9th & Howard in SoMa. With the team and operations continuing to expand on the West coast, we set our sights on opening our own SF office, targeted for January 2014.

March

Le Monde switches to Mapbox

Le Monde, one of the largest French newspapers, switches to French maps based on Mapbox Streets. We now offer maps in French, German, and Spanish, in addition to English and local languages, signaling a big push into the European market.

April

Cloudless Atlas for Mapbox Streets

The satellite team begins work on the new Cloudless Atlas for Mapbox Satellite. Charlie Loyd and Chris Herwig processed years worth of satellite data to make all the clouds simply go away.

May

Vector tiles: incredible styling

We launch a new open source vector format to power all our web maps. Vector tiles provide a super fast and efficient format to power maps, interactive features, GeoJSON streams, mobile renderers, and much more. Design iterations now happen in seconds, and get applied to a full global vector map in minutes.

May

New OpenStreetMap map editor launches

iD, the open source map editor we designed, rolls out on OpenStreetMap. This radically lowers the mapping threshold, making it easy to trace satellite imagery for adding roads and buildings to the map.

June

Visualizing 3 billion tweets

We map over 3 billion tweets – every geotagged tweet for 18 months is mapped, showing facets of Twitter's ecosystem and userbase in incredible new detail: demographic, cultural, and social patterns down to city-level detail across the entire world.

June

GitHub adds maps

GitHub's new maps allow any hosted GeoJSON file to be rendered as a fully interactive visualization on top of their own custom map, with hidden octocats if you can find them.

August

The Financial Times: pink maps

The Financial Times rolls out custom-designed maps: their pink, their font – fully integrating their visual identity, all using vector tiles.

September

Replace Apple maps with one line of code

You can now add custom Mapbox maps to any iOS or Mac app in one line of code using MBXMapKit. Thousands more apps are now able to go Mapbox with very little effort.

October

$10 million funding from Foundry Group

We close a $10 million Series A round with Foundry Group. This round squarely focuses on bringing more amazing people to our team in both San Francisco and Washington, DC. We are going to win with team and now we have real runway.

November

Pinterest builds Place Pins with Mapbox

Place Pins are powered by a custom-designed Mapbox map and allow users to create sharable boards that explore points of interest.

2014

January

Mapbox officially opens SF office

Mapbox opened a hot new office at 9th & Howard in San Francisco, just two floors above our friends at Code for America. We moved into the space in January 2014, and by March we were fully operational -- with room to grow our team even more.

Spring

Commercial Satellite

Mapbox Commercial Satellite opens up full world coverage satellite imagery for commercial tracing and feature extraction. You can now trace vectors from any imagery you want, anywhere in the world, and have full ownership over the data.

March

Mapbox Outdoors

Mapbox Outdoors is a beautiful new map designed for outdoor adventures. It's ready for anything: it includes thousands of biking, hiking, and skiing trails on top of detailed terrain with elevation data. Off the beaten path, find marked creeks, mountain peaks, and other geological features.

April

Smart Directions

Developers can now program routing profiles with the same level of customization that we bring to our map designs. Smart Directions is live in production and launching today across the entire fleet of Scoot scooters in San Francisco.

April

Satellite Imagery Update for OSM tracing

We start a massive refresh of Mapbox Satellite, partnering again with our friends at DigitalGlobe, the largest satellite company in the world. We're adding 500,000 km2 of fresh imagery at very high resolution to key spots all around the world, allowing us to update thousands of cities with fresh imagery.

May

Android SDK

Our new SDK is an open source, flexible, and fast platform for maps on Android. We’re making it easy for Android developers to add custom maps and data to their apps. It’s more than just a library for Mapbox; you can use other tile providers, datasources, and build your own plugins on its solid base.

June

Introducing Mapbox GL

We launched Mapbox GL, a new framework for interactive, responsive maps in every mobile app. Now developers have the most detailed maps sourced from ever-updating OpenStreetMap data, as well as the ability to fully control every element of the style and brand to design maps that perfectly match their app using a powerful, hardware-accelerated, OpenGL ES-based cartography library.

August

Mapbox GL for the web

We launched Mapbox GL JS, a fast and powerful new system for web maps. Mapbox GL JS is a client-side renderer that uses JavaScript and WebGL to dynamically draw data with the speed and smoothness of a video game. Instead of setting styles and zoom levels at the server level, Mapbox GL puts power in JavaScript, allowing for dynamic styling and freeform interactivity.

September

Mapbox Studio Classic

Mapbox Studio Classic, our open source map design platform, launches today across all desktop platforms; OS X, Windows and Linux. Mapbox Studio Classic allows anyone to design radically custom maps, easily work with huge global datasets, publish updates in seconds, and design with resolution independence for everything from retina devices to high resolution prints.

October

Walking directions

In contrast to car directions, the new walking API allows access to every way in the data that is accessible by foot unless explicitly forbidden. One-way streets and turn restrictions are ignored as if they were just normal streets with no restrictions at all. While streets and foot paths are equally weighted, we give preference to foot paths with a solid surface; paved paths are preferred over sandy surfaces.

October

Surface API

Introducing the Mapbox Surface API, a remarkable new way to access the raw data behind a map. Using Mapbox Vector Tiles, the Surface API can look at elevation profiles to crime indices to home prices – anything, any data that you upload. Now it's as easy to make a geo API as it is to make a map.

October

GeoJSON on static maps

We expanded the functionality of our static maps API to include support for overlaying paths and GeoJSON. Preview GPX traces from your fitness app, highlight specific buildings, or preview a flight — all on a static map.

November

Mapbox Atlas Server

Atlas Server is a dedicated map server that runs entirely on your own infrastructure. Atlas comes out of the box with full worldwide maps; Mapbox Streets, Mapbox Terrain, and our Cloudless Atlas satellite imagery. It's totally pluggable, allowing you to add your private vector and raster data and integrate with your existing PostGIS and Esri data workflows. All services are available through a private API, Mapbox.js, and can be combined with our open source iOS and Android SDKs to power custom apps.

November

Rand McNally

Rand McNally rolled out a beautiful new map that makes the atlas that you grew up with in your glove compartment the atlas on your iPad. The 158-year-old company that defined an era of cartography has created a vector map that mimics the handmade, tactile atmosphere of the Rand McNally brand.

December

Turf

Turf is GIS for web maps. It’s a fast, compact, and open-source JavaScript library that implements the most common geospatial operations. Turf is part of a new geospatial infrastructure. Unlike the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, Turf can run completely client-side for all operations, so web apps can work offline and sensitive information can be kept local.

2015

January

Peru & India offices

This is a long time coming. Development Seed, the data visualization and mapping company that Mapbox grew out of, started in Ayacucho, Peru back in 2003. Now we have an office in Ayacucho to host our data team. We also opened an office in India, where we found a great open source and open data community.

January

Android GL preview

We’ve been working in Java, JNI and C++ to bring our Mapbox GL engine to Android, and now you can test the preview of our official Android GL SDK on GitHub. Vector tiles are lighter to download than raster tiles, which helps deliver a seamless experience over slow mobile connections.

February

Map feedback

On every Mapbox map you see an “Improve this map” link that lets anyone quickly share feedback and make the map better. We’ve now made it even easier to submit feedback — reducing the number of clicks needed to let us know what’s wrong from four to two. All submissions help improve underlying OpenStreetMap data.

March

Mapbox Education

We launched Mapbox Education and made our tools free for students and teachers. We want students and teachers to use Mapbox as a sandbox for learning, creating, and growing.

April

Nepal

In the days since the earthquake in Nepal, more than 4,000 mappers mapped out 13,199 new miles of road and 110,681 buildings, quadrupling the road mileage covered and adding 30 percent more buildings within 48 hours. Digital Globe opened their imagery for disaster relief and the mapbox team processed the imagery to enable the many mappers to trace the areas with the worst damage.

May

100 Mapboxers

Mapbox grows beyond 100! With offices across 4 continents.

May

Announcing Mapbox Mobile

We launched Mapbox Mobile for iOS! The open source SDK lets developers add beautiful maps to their apps. Mapbox’s Cocoa Touch API works just like Apple MapKit — making it easy to switch from Apple to Mapbox.

June

Series B

We're creating the building blocks for a complete mapping stack. Today we closed $52.55 million in Series B financing to enable us to expand this stack, to continue to build amazing technology, and to hire the best people in the world to do it.

June

Geocoding

Turn your coordinates into addresses or your addresses into coordinates. Our geocoding API offers worldwide forward and reverse permanent geocoding. Run batch queries, store the results, and use them on a Mapbox map or anywhere you want.

June

Mapbox + MapQuest

MapQuest is partnering with Mapbox to create fully adaptable, fast-loading, and responsive maps for MapQuest’s mapping solutions. This commercial agreement allows MapQuest to leverage Mapbox’s highly detailed and visually stunning maps tailored to meet the individual needs of its users and business-to-business clients.

July

Map Matching API

We just launched the Map Matching API. The API allows users to clean noisy GPS traces by matching them against Mapbox Streets. It’s powered by the Open Source Routing Machine’s fast map matching feature.

July

Athomospheric correction for Landsat Live

We’re building automatic atmospheric correction to the Landsat Live pipeline to produce a clearer and more vibrant product. Atmospherically corrected Landsat is not only more beautiful, it also more accurately represents the surface reflectance values that let scientists make quantified measurements of changes on Earth’s face.

July

Atlas Server now available on the AWS Marketplace

Atlas Server is now available in the Amazon Web Services Marketplace, the app store for pre-configured EC2 instances. It takes only one click to spin up Atlas Server via the AWS Marketplace. From there you have access to your own private map server with worldwide streets and terrain maps as well as our Cloudless Atlas satellite imagery.

August

Seamless, cloudless, haze-free DigitalGlobe +Vivid

With the new DigitalGlobe Maps API, DigitalGlobe customers can now add labels or data overlays on top of their imagery. Mapbox servers combine the different layers into a single map, reducing the number of map tiles and cutting down on HTTP requests and data transmission.

September

Distance API launches

We just launched the Distance API to calculate travel times between many points with just one API request. It’s an API designed specifically for building a distance table or matrix. It works worldwide and is available for the driving, cycling and walking routing profiles.

November

Mapbox Studio

We've fully released Mapbox Studio, a cartographic system optimized for mobile applications and for the modern web. Mapbox Studio embraces vector rendering to produce maps that update and interact with the speed and smoothness of video games. Our robust data infrastructure powers custom data support, making format conversion and processing fast and reliable. New icon and font rendering systems improve performance and compatibility with high-dpi displays.
The future of mapping is open Meet the team behind Mapbox