Mapbox Navigation SDK for iOS

Mapbox Navigation SDK

The Mapbox Navigation SDK gives you all the tools you need to add turn-by-turn navigation to your application. It takes just a few minutes to drop a full-fledged turn-by-turn navigation view controller into your application. Or use the Core Navigation framework directly to build something truly custom.

The Mapbox Navigation SDK and Core Navigation are compatible with applications written in Swift 4 or Objective-C in Xcode 9.0. The Mapbox Navigation framework runs on iOS 9.0 and above, while the Core Navigation framework runs on iOS 8.0 and above.


Using CocoaPods

To install Mapbox Navigation using CocoaPods:

  1. Create a Podfile with the following specification:

    pod 'MapboxNavigation', '~> 0.18'
  2. Run pod repo update && pod install and open the resulting Xcode workspace.

Using Carthage

Alternatively, to install Mapbox Navigation using Carthage:

  1. Create a Cartfile with the following dependency:

    github "mapbox/mapbox-navigation-ios" ~> 0.18
  2. Run carthage update --platform iOS to build just the iOS dependencies.

  3. Follow the rest of Carthage’s iOS integration instructions. Your application target’s Embedded Frameworks should include MapboxNavigation.framework and MapboxCoreNavigation.framework.


  1. Mapbox APIs and vector tiles require a Mapbox account and API access token. In the project editor, select the application target, then go to the Info tab. Under the “Custom iOS Target Properties” section, set MGLMapboxAccessToken to your access token. You can obtain an access token from the Mapbox account page.

  2. In order for the SDK to track the user’s location as they move along the route, set NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription to:

    Shows your location on the map and helps improve OpenStreetMap.

  3. Users expect the SDK to continue to track the user’s location and deliver audible instructions even while a different application is visible or the device is locked. Go to the Capabilities tab. Under the Background Modes section, enable “Audio, AirPlay, and Picture in Picture” and “Location updates”. (Alternatively, add the audio and location values to the UIBackgroundModes array in the Info tab.)

Now import the relevant modules and present a new NavigationViewController. You can also push to a navigation view controller from within a storyboard if your application’s UI is laid out in Interface Builder.

import MapboxDirections
import MapboxCoreNavigation
import MapboxNavigation
let origin = Waypoint(coordinate: CLLocationCoordinate2D(latitude: 38.9131752, longitude: -77.0324047), name: "Mapbox")
let destination = Waypoint(coordinate: CLLocationCoordinate2D(latitude: 38.8977, longitude: -77.0365), name: "White House")

let options = NavigationRouteOptions(waypoints: [origin, destination])

Directions.shared.calculate(options) { (waypoints, routes, error) in
    guard let route = routes?.first else { return }

    let viewController = NavigationViewController(for: route)
    present(viewController, animated: true, completion: nil)

Starting points

This SDK is divided into two frameworks: the Mapbox Navigation framework (MapboxNavigation) is the ready-made turn-by-turn navigation UI, while the Mapbox Core Navigation framework (MapboxCoreNavigation) is responsible for the underlying navigation logic.

Mapbox Navigation

NavigationViewController is the main class that encapsulates the entirety of the turn-by-turn navigation UI, orchestrating the map view, various UI elements, and the route controller. Your application would most likely present an instance of this class. The NavigationViewControllerDelegate protocol allows your application to customize various aspects of the UI and react to location-related events as they occur.

NavigationMapView is the map view at the center of the turn-by-turn navigation UI. You can also use this class independently of NavigationViewController, for example to display a route preview map. The NavigationMapViewDelegate protocol allows your application to customize various aspects of the map view’s appearance.

Core Navigation

RouteController is responsible for receiving user location updates and determining their relation to the route line. If you build a completely custom navigation UI, this is the class your code would interact with directly. The RouteControllerDelegate protocol allows your application to react to location-related events as they occur. Corresponding Notifications are also posted to the shared NotificationCenter. These notifications indicate the current state of the application in the form of a RouteProgress object.

For further details, consult the guides and examples included with this API reference. If you have any questions, please see our help page. We welcome your bug reports, feature requests, and contributions.

Changes in version 0.18.0

User Interface

  • Added support for generic route shields. Image-backed route shields also now display as generic (instead of plain text) while the SDK loads the image. #1190, #1417
  • Fixed an issue when going into overhead mode with a short route. #1456

Core Navigation

  • TunnelIntersectionManagerDelegate methods no longer take a completion handler argument. (#1414)
  • Added the ability to render more than 1 alternate route. #1372
  • NavigationMapViewDelegate.navigationMapView(_:shapeFor:) Now expects an array of Route. The first route will be rendered as the main route, all subsequent routes will be rendered as alternate routes.
  • Animating the user through tunnels and automatically switching the map style when entering a tunnel is now on by default. #1449
  • Adds RouteControllerDelegate.routeController(_:shouldPreventReroutesWhenArrivingAt:waypoint:) which is called each time a driver arrives at a waypoint. By default, this method returns true and prevents rerouting upon arriving. Progress updates still occur. #1454