Mapbox acquires team behind Mapzen’s Valhalla project to boost navigation toolkits

By : |January 5, 2018 0
Image courtesy of Pansa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SoftBank-backed Mapbox that competes with Google Maps, TomTom and Here, has acquired team behind Mapzen’s Valhalla project in a bid to strengthen its navigation toolkits.

On January 2, the mapping platform Mapzen announced that they were shutting down. Mapzen made open mapping more viable for developers. Their tools cover the full range of map-making: cartography, graphics, search, routing, data, transit, mobile apps. And they published all of it as open source code and open licensed data.

Post the shut down, “The team that created the Valhalla routing engine is joining Mapbox to work on similar routing problems. Our transit schedule data project Transitland will continue to operate. Who’s On First will also continue on outside of the Mapzen framework,” said former Mapzen senior software engineer Dan Phiffer in an interview with CivicHall.

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Through the work both companies had been doing on the Valhalla open-source project, Mapbox’s developers had been collaborating with the team behind the project for more than a year.

Speaking about the acquisition, Mapbox chief executive Eric Gunderson told TechCrunch, “This is going to immediately have benefits for some of our OEM auto customers. Turn by tun directions with real-time traffic data and a more lightweight footprint (for the application),” are all benefits that OEM’s will enjoy, he said. “The data transfer is very light to devices and it’s also super customizable. It will allow the routing network to build more customizable data experiences.”

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