We’ve rolled out new updates for MapBox Streets, our colorful OpenStreetMap-based world map. The underlying data has been updated to include many of the amazing OpenStreetMap contributions that have happened in recent weeks, and the design has received substantial refinements to improve readability and display more map features. All of this is also now available down to zoom level 17 across the entire world.
One of the more noticeable changes is the we are now using abbreviations for many common suffixes and prefixes in English road labels. The abbreviation logic attempts to work intelligently so that, for example, “West Main Street” becomes “W Main St” but “North Road” becomes “North Rd” and not “N Rd”. More short roads are now being labeled as a result of the abbreviations. (Let us know if you find situations where things aren’t working correctly.)
Street label clarity has been improved by enlarging the text, darkening the shade, and decreasing the letter spacing. We are including more important road names at lower zoom levels and showing more labels overall.
Other labels have also been adjusted. Place names are better distinguished from street names, and priorities for school labels have been adjusted to fix many urban areas where they appeared too densely.
Roads and tunnels
Previously tunnel visibility was poor, but they are now properly distinguished from other roads. Various road widths have been adjusted to try to better highlight primary routes, and one way arrows have been made a bit smaller and more subtle.
More map features
A number of features that were not previously included are now visible on the map. Most noticeably a bug that caused many wooded areas to not appear has been fixed. You can also now see beaches, sand, cliffs, piers, and docks.
We’ve added rail stations (including subways) and added icons for airports. We’ve also added labels to larger buildings at the highest zoom levels.
The colors of many features have been tweaked to improve the overall aesthetic. Forests and buildings have been toned down to not stand out as much. Elementary and high school grounds are no longer as prominent as college and university campuses.