Today, October 8, is First Photo Day here at Mapillary, the day when the first Mapillary photo was published in 2013. A lot has happened in these two roller-coaster years. Here is my summary.
We are continuously working on enhancing the user experience for looking at and navigating between photos in the viewer. Lately we have introduced two new concepts which bring both eye-candy and usefulness.
Every day we are amazed and thankful to our community members for taking us to places we have never seen before. When we in the morning check into the Mapillary world there is always something exciting and surprising to discover. We think this is amazing and wanted to share some of our favorite tours.
This is a guest post from Drishtie Patel from the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross has been using Mapillary in their Missing Maps project.
As part of our reach out to mapping communities all over the world, we have been organizing a couple of photo walks in cities that are interested in hosting them.
We have up until today been using Github, Twitter and email for a lot of community conversation. It has been working okay but not perfect so many of you have suggested to use a forum instead. We think this is a great idea and are today very happy to release the very first version of our new community forum.
A couple of days ago we silently integrated what3words to Mapillary. what3words is "a global grid of 57 trillion 3m*3m squares." Every single place in the world can be described by three simple words. For example go to "exhales.singer.back" and you will end up at the Mapillary office.
Ever since we started Mapillary, we have always had the ambition of keeping the platform as extendable as possible. The release of API v2 is in line with that vision.
As you've probably noticed today, the Mapillary web viewer looks very different. Here's a bit more detail on what actually happened and why.
The new Mapillary viewer comes with improved navigation using our global 3D reconstruction. It is now easier for you to move across images of the same place and you will see much nicer 3D transitions when moving.
"Everyone in GIS uses ArcGIS. And everyone who uses ArcGIS is here!"
This weekend I attended the Geocamp ES in Sevilla and it was great! Geocamp is a so-called unconference. That is a friendly, unstructured event to talk and share ideas with Geo professionals and geeks. That was the 3rd edition in Spain and the 1st in Sevilla organized by the super-motivated Geoinquietos Sevilla
Yesterday we started with something new. We started to send weekly activity reports to many of you. The report is a snapshot of your Mapillary activity the last seven days and it is a great way to keep track of your activity and progress.
Jan Erik, Johan and myself attended the State of the Map US conference on June 6-8. With more than 800 map enthusiastic attendees, the event became the biggest OpenStreetMap conference in history. It was held in the UN Headquarters in New York City. We experienced interesting talks, inspiring conversations and excellent social events. Special credit goes to the organizers who put together a fantastic conference.
After the first steps of integrating iD and Mapillary, we are happy to announce that we have integrated the Mapillary Street Signs as a layer into our fork of the iD editor. This was done together with the help of the OpenStreetMap community and the fantastic developers at Mapbox like @jfire. We hope to get this accepted into the main code base after more feedback.
As you have probably noticed, we at Mapillary love to experiment with bleeding edge technology. Recently we showed technical implications and benefits of using vector tiles and what it means to you as Mapillary users. However, we did not give you the full picture yet as along with vector tiles we'd like to share improvements to our web app.
Today we're announcing the first version of our Mapillary data vector tiles. Vector tiles are the vector data equivalent of image tiles commonly used for web maps. The Mapillary data vector tiles encode image sequences and sequence properties in a neat format that doesn't need to be served from any database.
This is a guest post from Mapillary user Andrea Borruso (@aborruso) announcing an upcoming cultural heritage event in Pompeii using Mapillary.
This week we started our first project using public road imagery. Many cities and municipalities collect road imagery, for example for the purpose of inventorying their road network. Mapillary enables a way to spread this data and get something back in the process.
Today the Brussels OpenStreetMap community had a mapping party where the attendants learned how to edit OSM data in the iD, Potlatch and JOSM editors.
Here's a short update with some stats on what devices our community is using to map the world. Hopefully this will be the first post in a series with interesting stats and data.
As you may have seen in Jan Erik’s last blog post, Mapillary now has over 10 million photos, 11.6 million as I write this. This is a huge milestone for not only us, but for the whole team of mappers out there who are finding ever more ways to use Mapillary. The purpose of this post is to shed light on the many ways the Mapillary community is mapping and to encourage users to interact with one another to share the knowledge.
We are constantly trying to find new ways of sourcing photos for our community. Until today you could upload photos to Mapillary through our apps, manual upload or upload scripts. From now on, you can also upload video files, which we will happily process into photo sequences!
Today we passed a sort of milestone on Mapillary - 10 million geotagged, connected photos! We have seen fantastic growth since the start of this year and almost doubled the number of photos in the last three months.
We had quite a weekend in Austin with lots of events going on and the chance to meet some great people.
Last week the team visited Barcelona and we had a great time mapping the Laberint d'Horta. But this weekend promises to be even more fun, since we are heading to Austin for SXSW Interactive.
Our Barcelona trip could not have started any better, today we where rewarded with great weather to do our first Mapillary Meetup in Catalunya. In just a few days we manage to put together a mapping party around the Horta Labyrinth, one of those enigmatic places that represents Barcelona. A garden museum in the northern part of the city with a great view to the Mediterranean sea.
We have arrived a little bit early for a must attend event for any company involved in the mobile space which is Mobile World Congress. It is a great excuse to visit Barcelona, one of the most enchanting cities in the Mediterranean with a lot of places to see and map.
We have gotten a lot of feedback over the last year, and finally we got around to completely rewrite big parts of the application. There are a few things that stand out as important so we want to mention them.
A week and a half ago we released our traffic sign detection and got an awesome response from you guys. We deliberately released it without any feedback system. We didn’t know if this was something that anybody cared about so we didn’t want to spend valuable developer time on something nobody wanted.
Along with opening up the traffic sign detection to everyone, we wanted to share a small tool we have developed while working on that project. Meet Traffico, a font we use for generating the beautiful traffic sign icons you can see in the map view at Mapillary.
Today we are happy to announce another feature requested by our faithful Mapillary users - traffic sign recognition. We have processed over 6 million images and detected all the traffic signs in the United States and Europe. From now on every image added in these regions will go through our system and will be categorized with traffic sign data.
Over the last year we have received a lot of feedback on our app. Some of the most asked for features related to how to improve photo collection, better reviewing before uploading on device, better browsing on device, more information on processing progress and what happens around you. After looking the same since we started, it is now time to update the app.
The purpose of this blog post is to welcome beginners to the Mapillary community and guide you on getting started with using Mapillary.
This is a guest post from Mapillary user Chris McNally on using video files for contributing to Mapillary. Until there is video upload support this workflow will help you process video files to create photos that you can submit to Mapillary. Thanks a lot to Chris for putting this together and posting it here!
New ways of following your progress and interacting are coming! We have just added the possibility to see interactions from you and other users - e.g. uploads, image processing status, comments, mentions, blur requests, edits, etc.
One of the most exciting things with working on Mapillary is that everything we do is global. Our apps are available everywhere and we make no restrictions on who can contribute from where. Being available globally from day one also presents some challenges.
One of the downsides of using simple devices for mapping the world is that the GPS accuracy is not always great, especially in cities with tall buildings. Since the start we have always wanted to correct this using image matching and we are now making progress in that area.
Mapillary is getting social! Today we’ve added a way to easily share images you like. Introducing: the share modal. Below you'll find a quick run through of the most important aspects.
Mapillary is increasingly used for many different scenarios, and the question of how to best cover a certain track or trail comes up a lot. In order to display it on a web page and provide the best view of a track all useful directions should be covered as much as possible.
There are a number of very capable, cheap Bluetooth GPS devices out there like this Garmin GLO which gets much better accuracy than a normal smartphone. Most of them work out-of-the-box with iOS, but on Android some setup steps are required to get them working.
Six months after our launch it is now time for an update of our policies. While our previous terms regulated what we can do with photos contributed to Mapillary we decided that more clarity and detail would be helpful on things like how you are allowed to use the service, your rights to photos, how we handle your personal data, copyright infringement and more.
Do you find yourself sometimes writing small scripts just to introspect some JSON? Say we want to get some image from the Mapillary API, the URL for getting GeoJSON from an image search
Filtering & Interface Improvements
At Mapillary, our main task is connecting the many photos uploaded to the service. We do this all the time, in the background, using computer vision and reasoners.
At Mapillary we do a lot of things with the photos you upload. One thing we do is to automatically blur license plates and peoples faces for privacy purposes. No license plate detector or face detector is perfect and sometimes we will incorrectly blur areas, sometimes we will miss important areas that needed blurring.
Today Mapillary - the project to provide a street level view of the world - arrived at the Windows Phone platform with the first release of the app for Windows Phone 8 / 8.1.
This past weekend we captured some data for the upcoming Traffic Jam Session hackathon here in Malmö. Since the event is about hacking public transportation data, we mapped some of the local bus lines. We used six Android phones running the Mapillary app that captured a total of 50GB of photos.
It has been six weeks since we announced that we were licensing our photos with Creative Commons. The license we chose was the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (CC BY-NC). Our reasoning was explained in the accompanying blog post.
Today, we finally got around to implement one of the most requested editing operations for Mapillary - the bulk-straightening for all images in a sequence.
When you are a startup, you don't have much time. In our case, we want to track some of our KPIs, as the numbers of users, images and power users over time (lots of other historic KPIs like user retention too, but that's another blog). We also want have a nice dashboard but not build a system for that.
Hi there, you probably have seen the disqus footers under the Mapillary pictures. While this has been working for a while (we are talking days here :), we now have integrated a polling on new blog posts that will mail the photographer of the image with any new updates on the discussions.
We got a complaint from a user who flagged an image by accident, see this issue.
As we are now entering a phase of Complaint Driven Development, this morning I found a
great little fix to this.
Angular.js which we use for the web client, does not come with a built-in confirmation dialogue. However, here is
a great little generic confirm-button directive that avoids the
onClick method and can be reused.
One thing we have been struggling with since starting Mapillary is the issue of licensing Mapillary photos.
The right stack for the job
One question we get a lot is if you can upload photos that you have taken with another camera, outside of our apps. Maybe you have some great street sequences taken with your DSLR or older photos that you would like to add.
We have been working with the OpenStreetMap community lately and we wanted to investigate how Mapillary can be used as a tool for some serious mapping.
Starting out Mapillary with the idea of crowdsourcing street view photos using smartphones we were fully aware of the limitations of the devices used. Typically, your phone will at best give position within a few meters accuracy, sometimes a lot more than a few meters.
The number one thing people have been asking us during our short history is "when will you have an Android app"?