Continuously update vector tiles as data changes: Mapbox Tiling Service

Sunny Yang-Hicks
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Jan 19, 2021

Continuously update vector tiles as data changes: Mapbox Tiling Service

Sunny Yang-Hicks

Guest

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Guest

Jan 19, 2021

MTS-powers maps tracking COVID-19, visualizing election results, new real estate listings, airspace restrictions, oil field production, 5G spectrum allocation, and transportation infrastructure

Mapbox Tiling Service (MTS) allows the processing of massive sets of data into custom vector tilesets, continuously updating the maps as the data changes. MTS creates and updates data using distributed and parallelized processing, meaning data is processed much more quickly than is possible with a standard, single server setup with comparable tools. Developers are using MTS to deliver new solutions: tracking wildfires, updating wireless hotspots, dynamically changing drone flight zones, measuring oil and gas field output, reserving stadium seating as tickets are bought, and overseeing mining operations in the Amazon on indigenous lands.

Featured Maps 

The New York Times uses MTS for the Extremely Detailed Map of the 2020 Election.

TripAdvisor’s Crowdfree created a social distancing index updating live based on Covid cases, county boundaries, and high precision POIs. The result is a beautiful, interactive and highly performant app.

Mineral Answers maps wells, rigs, and permits across the United States.

"MTS streamlines the processing of our large and varied energy datasets, transforming our GIS data into maps.  Recipes let us update our maps live, improving  performance, and reducing cost." - Jeff Chambers - Founder

Deepblocks uses artificial intelligence for real estate modeling. Deepblocks tiles US parcels, zoning, demographics and boundaries data with MTS visualizing real estate insights in their SaaS and mobile applications. 

Stubhub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, leads the first interactive seat mapping which now uses MTS to provide georeferenced stadium seating selections in more than 40 countries.

“We rebuilt our foundational UX for section level seatmaps on Mapbox MTS. It was easy for our developers to implement and allows us to move forward with modern technology at the scale of Stubhub both on our website and mobile experience. Now that we’re on Mapbox, we’ll be able to build out an even more immersive, fan-first seatmaps experience in the future”. - Garrett Reeb, Senior Product Manager, Stubhub

Polaris Ride Command helps riders plan, track and share rides. Polaris updates trail routes and locations around the world for your preferred vehicle, on dirt or snow. 

“MTS helps us to quickly update and process tens of thousands of custom routes our customers created with Polaris Ride Command. By using MTS, our small team can focus on customer innovation and not mapping infrastructure.” - Charles Skelton, Senior GIS Developer, Polaris. 

PreK.com helps parents find safe and affordable childcare in their area. They pride themselves on thorough vetting and a personalized approach. PreK.com turned to MTS to scale its rapidly-expanding list of schools.

“Before we switched to Mapbox and MTS, we tied together multiple systems to get our search feature working well, and that resulted in poor performance and a complex implementation. Adopting MTS dramatically improved both of these-- our map is snappy enough to "search as you move," and our search feature is much easier to understand technically. It took us less than a day to incorporate Mapbox with MTS into our application.” - James Keiger, PreK.com CTO

Mined Amazon map uses MTS to show in real-time new requests filled with the National Mining Agency (ANM) that overlap 385 indigenous lands and 49 integral protected areas in the Brazilian Legal Amazon.

Sustrans is the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle in the UK. They are using MTS to update and optimize their interactive versions of paper maps made for local authorities.

Sustrans transportation map for West Yorkshire metropolitan county

“The process of creating ‘recipes’ and overwriting tilesets is so easy, it’s become our primary way of updating dataset changes in the basemaps we’ve created using Studio. All you need is a command line interface and node.js installed and you’re up and running. This process used to be performed by writing data to a PostGIS database and using clunky, error prone tools  to draw and upload MBTiles to Mapbox and would take substantially longer. We’ve saved countless hours switching to the MTS. More importantly, because the design is intuitive and the steps are well documented, it means anybody can do it with little to no training.” - Ralph Hughes, Sustrans

Get started in minutes

To get started with MTS, we offer several handy tools:

  • MTS Data Sync: a no-code tool to publish your GeoJSON data as vector tiles. With as little as two commands, the tool makes it easy to get started without writing any code. 
  • Tilesets CLI: a command-line Python tool for creating tilesets with MTS. 
  • Tilesets API: for increased control, you can access MTS programmable using HTTP API endpoints to prepare and upload your data. 

To help you onboard quickly, we curated a library of recipe examples packaging learnings and best practices from early MTS customers. 
Have questions? Check out MTS documentation site or contact sales for more in depth product discussion.

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