Technology is reinventing on-demand services to include everything from shipping to laundry, and the central innovation is realtime logistics. Delivery-on-demand services like Postmates or Shyp work at the intersection of location, time, and economics. Assigning the right jobs to the right people - within seconds - is the challenge.
The dispatcher of the future is a stack built with Layer for communications and Mapbox for geo. Customers request a delivery at an address, which Mapbox's geocoding API transforms into a latitude, longitude point. Turf.js assigns the nearest and oldest outstanding order to each available courier, sending them an instant push notification with Layer. When the courier accepts a task, Smart Directions generates a route specifically for their mode of transportation.
This is a full-featured logistical system in the browser.
Layer: realtime messaging layer that connects couriers to assignments.
Geocoding: converts addresses into geographical locations.
Turf: geospatial analysis fast enough to provide understanding of spatial relationships on the fly, as the foundation for more complex scheduling algorithms.
Layer connects people with push notifications, text messages, and alerts - getting customers, couriers, and dispatchers on the same page, in realtime. Mapbox's geographic technology provides analysis, visualization, and data. Mapbox and Layer are building modular components and APIs for developers, and it's exciting to see that they can be assembled into real-world applications.