Mapbox Review 1 of 5
Mapbox: "Great for small companies, super innovative and easy to integrate"
Fedor Paretsky profile photo
January 09, 2019

Mapbox: "Great for small companies, super innovative and easy to integrate"

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Mapbox

We use Mapbox's APIs and maps to run most of our service. They have a wide selection of powerful APIs to enable routing, directions, traffic, and many other usage points. Without Mapbox, we would have to either re-survey maps on our own or re-build a large portion of APIs to work on top of open-source maps, like OpenStreetMap. In addition, they have beautiful maps that our users view on our front-end applications that are also really easy to build functionality on top of.
  • Great documentation! Most of the services, APIs, and products provided by Mapbox are very easy to implement. Sometimes as little as two lines of code need to be added.
  • Great pricing to try out their services - it's very rare to pass their free tier of service in the alpha or beta testing stages.
  • Provides some services that aren't provided at any other mapping or geography API/service company, like the Mapbox Navigation SDK.
  • Some services, like routing, can be *very* expensive in production. A company can potentially spend thousands of dollars on routing calculations (API calls), and at that point, you should probably consider moving your routing engine/calculations to an on-premise server (self-hosted service).
  • There is downtime. I periodically receive notifications of some of Mapbox's services being down. They have never affected us or our users, but I'm not so sure about other companies.
  • Limited customization of maps on some platforms. On platforms like iOS and Android, it takes some long experimenting sometimes to get the maps to display and behave in the way your product exactly needs them to.
  • Mapbox is the only service that has all the products we need to release our product to the market. Without Mapbox, we would've spent far more time integrating multiple different map/geo services like Mapbox and HERE maps together.
  • Mapbox was sometimes expensive in the testing period, and we would've definitely moved some of the services on-premise to save money if we had the time.
  • Mapbox has functionality for traffic-aware routing in many countries, as well as matrix-structured routing data, which is what enables our service to function. Having all of this integrated within an API allows us to easily scale our service to multiple different cities/countries in a matter of days.
Mapbox provides many more services, like the Navigation SDK, Vision SDK (currently in beta), and Styles Gallery that allows companies to create a much more design-friendly frontend for a very low cost. Mapbox has also put a lot more resources into their search-related APIs to make them just as quick and accurate as the Google Maps search products. There is also a lot more innovation happening at Mapbox, with new geo/map products released regularly. Innovation and growth at the Google Maps API seems to be happening much slower.
For services that require maps and basic geo-functionality in production, Mapbox is one of the greatest choices out there. They're free, provide much more refined/modern productions compared to Google maps, and have very good support on different platforms. For services that require higher-computation products, like matrix routing, optimization, etc..., the prices can get quite high very quickly, and you should consider moving those services to an on-premise server at that point.