Last week’s launch of our redesigned maps included a fresh revamp of Mapbox Satellite Streets. Our goal was to add meaningful context of vector data to our vibrant Mapbox Satellite imagery without sacrificing legibility to create a navigation-friendly map.
To maintain legibility over disparate terrain tonalities, we defined a hierarchical color palette that emphasizes major connections. We then deliberately reveal and dissolve this emphasis, simultaneously with the progression of zoom. This results in purposeful navigation information when you need it with fewer distractions in the map.
Our redesigned highway shields and expanded coverage help to distinguish major and minor thoroughfares as you navigate from rural to urban landscapes. Our updated transit icons add another level of information and remain legible upon higher zooms.
At the street-level, we established roads with a subtle tint as paths for biking, walking, and hiking begin to come into focus and further define cityscapes. We accentuated place and road labels by increasing contrast which pulls them into the foreground for a faster read.
Finally, the updated landmarks orient users and make the map more navigable from the street level. We designed a comprehensive set of simplified, modern POIs that create visual space between these acclimating features and the imagery.
Amy Lee Walton
is a designer at Mapbox. She brings an experimental art+maker background alongside seasoned web chops ranging from designing interactive experiences, to metrics-based advertising campaigns, to UX-focused landing pages and microsites.
Follow @amyleew on Twitter