October 14th, 2010

Portland inside: MapBox iPad mapping app has Portland mobile geogeeking under the hood


Portland inside: MapBox iPad mapping app has Portland mobile geogeeking under the hood

According to Wired Magazine, mobile devices need custom maps. According to me, Portland is the de facto hub of mobile development and it’s not too shabby when it comes to geolocation geekery either.

No, it’s not a non-sequitur. You see, the maps built on MapBox described in the article? The Development Seed ones? Under the hood of that iPad pursuit is good old Portland mobile geolocation ingenuity, thanks to Justin Miller.

So what’s MapBox on the iPad entail?

We’re close to shipping version 1.0 of the MapBox iPad app, an interactive mapping app that lets you load highly custom maps – like the ones available on MapBox – on the iPad and visualize GeoRSS and KML over the maps. All the maps and the data run locally, allowing full mapping interaction offline. This post highlights some of the key areas that have been in development lately. Our goal now is to attract a few last pre-release testers to check it out before we go live (email info@mapbox.com if you’re interested).

It’s not only beautiful. It’s technically drool worthy. What’s more? It’s in the cloud. That’s like the buzzword trifecta: mobile, geolocation, and the cloud. BINGO!


Clustering Points on the iPad from Development Seed on Vimeo.

Not only that, but Justin has been working on OpenStreetMap support for the iPad and an incredibly cool format called Portable Map Tiles.

We just released details on the new MBTiles file format designed for portability of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of standard map tile images in a single file. This format makes it easier to transfer map tiles to mobile applications like Maps on a Stick and our upcoming iPad app for MapBox, and it makes it possible to use very detailed map tiles while offline.

Oh Portland. You’re so geogeeky. And mobile.

For more information, read up on MapBox on the iPad. For more on Justin, follow @incanus77 or visit Code Sorcery Workshop.

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