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Peering behind the mapping curtain

February 11, 2019  - By
Photo: Mapbox

Photo: Mapbox

Location intelligence powers applications with data and “live maps” updated continuously.

According to Forbes, 70 percent of telecommunications companies consider location intelligence critical to their success. The intelligence data is provided by specialists such as Google, Esri, Here and PlaceIQ.

In January, Sprint and location intelligence startup Mapbox launched precision mapping technology with the Curiosity IoT network. The 5G network’s extreme bandwidth and low latency will allow Mapbox to collect higher volumes of richer data to create “live maps.” A live map is built not from traditional data surveys months or years before, but from data collected from hundreds of millions of location-enabled sensors that feed back information about the world in real time, including high-resolution video.

Mapbox uses artificial intelligence (AI) to turn the massive data flows into a picture of real time transit paths that can be used for precise, up-to-date routing.

Augmented Reality view from the Mapbox Vision SDK. (Image: Mapbox)

Augmented Reality view from the Mapbox Vision SDK. (Image: Mapbox)

According to Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen, maps that constantly update are essential to the internet of things (IoT). “As maps guide new smart machines on IoT networks, you remove the human in the middle that used to compensate for differences between the map and the real world,” he said. “Precision mapping services need to reflect the world as it is, at that precise moment so that those smart machines can travel safely and efficiently.“

According to Mapbox, smart machines such as drones and autonomous delivery carts will be able to make fast location and routing decisions using its detailed, updated maps.

Other companies that use Mapbox’s location services include IBM, Lonely Planet, Square, Tableau and The Weather Channel.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.