New 3D environments enhance wayfinding and location awareness

The dynamic, performant and elegant new Mapbox Standard style brings 3D urban areas to Mapbox map design. Now available in public beta for all accounts.

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Aug 8, 2023

New 3D environments enhance wayfinding and location awareness

The dynamic, performant and elegant new Mapbox Standard style brings 3D urban areas to Mapbox map design. Now available in public beta for all accounts.

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Aug 8, 2023

A milestone in digital mapping has arrived. The new Mapbox Standard core style enables a highly performant and elegant 3D mapping experience with powerful dynamic lighting capabilities, landmark 3D buildings, and an expertly crafted symbolic aesthetic. 

The new ready-to-use style currently in public beta enhances wayfinding and spatial orientation for users, and provides a polished canvas for custom location data. Mapbox Standard is available in pre-releases of the latest versions of our web and mobile SDKs.

Dynamic lighting for a natural day to night shift

Mapbox Standard provides four carefully curated lighting presets: Day, Night, Dusk, and Dawn. As the sun moves throughout the day, based on a user’s location, shadows shift and highlight different areas of the map. Supplementary light sources like flood lighting or entrance lights make the map come alive at night. The dynamic lighting creates a feature-rich and true-to-life experience that helps users better orient themselves in the physical world. For developers and designers, using Mapbox Standard eliminates the need to maintain and transition between separate ‘day’ and ‘night’ map styles as the style is completely reactive.

Landmarks improve map comprehension in 3D

As part of Mapbox Standard, Mapbox has crafted a dataset of hundreds of famous and recognizable landmarks across the globe, with more being added each month. The landmark buildings integrate seamlessly into the map environment and also respond dynamically to lighting changes.

The beautiful landmarks make the digital map experience more delightful as well as useful. The 3D landmarks make it easier to spot recognizable structures from a distance, giving users a better sense of direction and orientation within a city.

Symbolic design emphasizes location information

While imagery-based and ‘digital twin’ maps can be appropriate to use in certain applications, we understand from our customers that in most cases developers and designers prefer a map style that is optimized for clarity, legibility, and flexibility to use as a canvas to display location data. 

Therefore, our cartographers chose a sleek and beautiful symbolic realism design for Mapbox Standard. The result is an aesthetically pleasing map where elements like landmarks, buildings, roads and trees are clearly identifiable yet still abstract enough to make the map highly readable and not distract from icons, labels and custom location data.

Our trademark performance and flexibility

Many developers and designers may desire the option to choose between the new stunning 3D elements and the simplicity and performance of a 2D map within their application. Mapbox Standard solves this by integrating elegant styling for both 2D and 3D views, with a smooth and seamless transition between the two.

Additionally, Mapbox Standard is built with a base map that evolves alongside custom layers, delivering the latest rendering features and data layers without a manual style update or version upgrade. We’ve also built a simplified structure that makes it easier to embed custom layers within the style versus just draping them on top.

Mapbox Standard: A default core style

Mapbox Standard offers wide ranging benefits to our customers and their users; consider the various sector-specific benefits of Mapbox Standard features for industries like travel planning, real estate, urban mobility, fitness, on-demand delivery, news/media and automotive.

Travel Planning

Optimize the travel planning experience and drive more bookings with improved location context that better represents where a location is relative to landmarks and points of interest in tourist cities.

Real Estate

Make real estate listings stand out and maximize the time users spend viewing relevant results. Mapbox Standard improves awareness of a listing’s lot, size, surroundings and direction to preferred amenities like schools or parks. Even understand how much light a listing might receive.

Urban Mobility

Urban Mobility services can leverage the improved location context offered by Mapbox Standard to help riders and relocation staff find nearby vehicles quickly and drop them off accurately.

Fitness

Offer outdoor and fitness app users a route planning experience with more true-to-life location details. Give users a beautiful 3D canvas to analyze and share their recorded routes.

On-Demand Delivery

Increase the accuracy of deliveries, improve driver safety and improve the user tracking experience with this 3D style that offers high precision location awareness in urban areas for on-demand delivery.

News & Media 

Enhance stories with 3D maps that represent locations in incredible detail. Readers and viewers gain more holistic spatial context for where a news piece occurred within a highly engaging immersive experience.

Automotive

Mapbox Standard is the foundational base map for Mapbox 3D Live Navigation which combines 3D lane models, real-time sensor information, sign data, environmental models, 3D landmark buildings, dynamic lighting conditions and weather. The style offers better situational awareness and an experience that mirrors the physical world, helping drivers navigate complex situations more safely and reducing the time it takes to get to parking, charging stations and their final destination.

Getting Started with Mapbox Standard

Mapbox Standard is now accessible in public preview in pre-releases of the latest versions of our web and mobile SDKs. Developers can explore the new style right here.

For guidance on how existing Mapbox users can leverage the style right now, visit our migration guides for GL JS v3 and Mobile Maps SDKs v11 for iOS and Android. New Mapbox users already on the latest versions of our SDKs can also find the information they need to access Mapbox Standard in our migration guides.

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