Search anywhere, go anywhere: empowering users with the Mapbox Search SDKs

Mapbox empowers users with seamless address, places, and POI (Points of Interest) search, even when they are offline

Bing Peng

Apr 3, 2024

Search anywhere, go anywhere: empowering users with the Mapbox Search SDKs

Mapbox empowers users with seamless address, places, and POI (Points of Interest) search, even when they are offline


Bing Peng


Apr 3, 2024

Mapbox is excited to announce the general availability of Search SDKs, a powerful toolkit that empowers developers to seamlessly integrate robust search features into their applications. These features include offline search, ready-to-use search UI components, favorites, saved search history, and personalization, all for a developer-friendly experience when building Android and iOS applications.

Key benefits of Search SDKs

Mapbox Search SDKs is the easiest way to add advanced location search features into your app. It provides a happy path for developers who want to integrate Mapbox’s search offerings including Search Box API, Geocoding API, and Address Autofill. Search SDKs provides ready-to-use UI elements to build with Mapbox search services for common search use cases like text search, category search, search by coordinate (or reverse lookup), and address geocoding in mobile apps.

With Mapbox Search SDKs, developers and organizations can also:

  • Create search experiences that work online and offline: enabling apps and vehicle navigation systems to work seamlessly, even when they are not connected to internet 
  • Create delightful user features like favorites, saved history, and personalization
  • Accelerate their development time with our out-of-the-box UI components for common search functionality

Offline search

Building location search for devices with limited connection requires handling offline data, network connectivity, and on-device search functionalities. Those features are crucial to build experiences for e-bikes, off road vehicles or any automotive traveling in remote areas with limited or no connectivity. 

Mapbox Search SDKs comes ready to handle complex requirements for offline search; they leverage Mapbox's innovative Tile Store technology for intelligent management of offline data on the device. Tile Store manages data downloads for offline access, optimizes data storage on the device, enables offline access to data, and helps to deliver the best application for performance offline scenarios. Developers can also customize Tile Store to implement their intended offline experience for their target device or user experience.

Search data to be used for offline access with Search SDKs can be installed on the factory, at the manufacturing time, or can be updated by end users at a later time with an internet connection. Developers can build a variety of scenarios with offline search; like enabling users to download a predefined area for offline access or progressively download areas as the vehicle/device goes around the road network.  

The Mapbox Search SDKs offline feature set also integrates effortlessly with other Mapbox SDKs, Maps SDK and Navigation SDK, empowering users with a seamless search and navigation experience regardless of internet connectivity.

Powering intuitive search experiences

Mapbox customers, who adapted Search SDKs, are creating compelling online and offline experiences for their users, like The Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB)Curb, and more. 

Seamless integration with online and offline unlocks many search use cases for future vehicles. For example, think of a provider of microbility vehicles (e-bikes, scooters etc.) with navigation and search capabilities. Those vehicles will have limited access to the internet, possible only at their home location and through wifi. Search SDK offline search features enables riders to download map regines for search and navigation and to find points of interest (POIs) and addresses without an internet connection, and start navigation. Additionally, the SDKs can enable tailoring search results to individual needs, like displaying frequently visited places or user favorites for user engagement and satisfaction.

When building search experiences with Mapbox Search SDKs, developers often utilize Mapbox Navigation SDK and Mapbox Maps SDK - the building blocks of an end-to-end navigation system. Here's how an offline navigation experience can be implemented for automotive navigation applications; drivers can opt-in to download a route when starting their navigation and offline data will be downloaded in the background. Once downloaded, offline areas will be highlighted on the map, allowing seamless search and navigation without a connection.

Drivers opt-in to enable an offline route
The path along the route or the selected area on the map will be downloaded for offline access
Offline search results are shown along with an indication of the offline areas available

Why developers love our Search SDKs

Developers who are building apps for mobile devices (iOS & Android) and want to integrate with Mapbox search services quickly will love our Search SDKs. With Search SDKs, you get:

  • Fewer lines of code: developers can get up and running with a few lines of code to start the SDK. See for yourself — it’s readable, maintainable, and error-proof.
  • Protecting against errors and pitfalls: having a ready-made integration example enables you to experiment faster and avoid common pitfalls of using API in a non-preferred way.
  • Drop-in UI support: have no need for custom UI and ready to get started? We have you covered with an easy-to-blend UI that doesn’t require extensive binding to current components and navigation flow.

Ready to take your apps or services to the next level? The Mapbox Search SDKs empowers developers to create exceptional user experiences by providing a powerful toolset for seamless search integration within their applications. 

Existing Mapbox Customers now can download and integrate the Search SDKs into their app and use their existing accounts to initiate online services through the SDKs. If you are interested in offline search features, please contact your account manager or contact sales. New to Mapbox? Sign up for a free trial or schedule a demo today.

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