Book Image

Mapbox Cookbook

By : Bill Kastanakis, Vasileios Kastanakis
Book Image

Mapbox Cookbook

By: Bill Kastanakis, Vasileios Kastanakis

Overview of this book

Maps are an essential element in today’s location aware applications. Right from displaying earth surface information to creating thematic maps displaying plethora of information, most of the developers lack the necessary knowledge to create customizable maps with combination of various tools and libraries. The MapBox platform is one such platform which offers all the tools and API required to create and publish a totally customizable map. Starting with building your first map with the online MapBox Editor, we will take you all the way to building advanced web and mobile applications with totally customizable map styles. Through the course of chapters we’ll learn CartoCSS styling language and understand the various components of MapBox platform and their corresponding JavaScript API. In the initial few chapters we will dive deeper into the TileMill and MapBox Studio components of MapBox and use them to generate custom styled map tiles and vector maps. Furthermore, we will publish these custom maps using PHP, node.js and third party tools like Geoserver. We’ll also learn to create different visualizations and map styles like a choropleth map, a heat map and add user interactivity using a UFTGrid. Moving on, we dive into advanced concepts and focus on integration with third party services like Foursquare, Google FusionTables, CartoDB, and Torque to help you populate and even animate your maps. In the final chapter we’ll learn to use the Mapbox SDK to create and publish interactive maps for the iOS platform. By the end of this book, you will learn about MapBox GL and how to create a fully functional, location-aware mobile app, using the maps styles created in the recipes.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)
Mapbox Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewer


When I started writing this book, the best way to use Mapbox maps on the iOS platform was the Mapbox iOS SDK. While the SDK itself was pretty powerful, it was based on raster tiles and was significantly slower that modern vector map frameworks such as the Apple-owned MapKit. There were other disadvantages too; for example, it was messy to integrate into a project and generated tons of warnings.


Don't confuse the Mapbox GL mobile framework with Mapbox GL JS, which is aimed at web developers. All the recipes in this chapter are for Mapbox GL iOS.

Luckily for us, Mapbox introduced a new mobile SDK that replaced the now deprecated Mapbox iOS SDK. It's called Mapbox GL, and it has significant strengths compared to its predecessor. Mapbox GL is written in C++, based on the OpenGL ES 2.0 technology, and is capable of displaying pixel-perfect vector maps without antialiasing or blurring issues. It's hardware accelerated and optimized for mobile hardware.

I considered introducing both...