Learn how you can add points of interest and road information in Map Creator with help of Mapillary imagery.

We recently announced our global partnership with HERE and in particular, the way in which Mapillary imagery and data is being used by the HERE map editors. Map Creator is the primary tool in which this takes place, so this post will walk through some of the ways Mapillary imagery can be used in the map editing tool.

Enabling Mapillary imagery

Mapillary imagery can be viewed directly in Map Creator by clicking the Mapillary icon in the bottom right panel.

Enabling the Mapillary layer in Map Creator

When the imagery loads, you’ll notice sequences of images appearing, with each of the colours representing the age of the imagery.

Mapillary tile age

When you find imagery in an area that you would like to edit, left click on the image line to see the image in that location. This will open a window where you can view the image and navigate to others around it. Click mapillary.com at the bottom right of the window to bring up a larger view of the image on Mapillary.

Note, HERE has written up a guide to using Mapillary with Map Creator, so take a look at that for more information on the integration. We’ll focus on the kind of map data you can derive from an image.

Points of interest

One of the most frequently changing aspects of maps are points of interests (POIs) such as petrol stations, hairdresser's, the local falafel shop, or the department of motor vehicles. Businesses open and close, change their names, and relocate. Parks are developed and new apartments are constructed. Map Creator makes it easy for anyone to update the map with these changes using local knowledge and/or the Mapillary image layer.

Let's go to the village of Ruvo di Puglia, looking at images that students have contributed there. The blue sequence lines show that the imagery has been contributed within the last year. If we click on an image we can see the date in the bottom left corner of the image window that appears. A lot of the images were taken in early March, 2018, so we can be pretty confident that the image reflects an accurate picture of the town today.

Let’s find something we can add to the map. I’ve selected a sequence walking through Piazza Castello and quickly noticed some businesses to the right that have not been added to the map. I can zoom in on the image to read all the signs.

I can see the wine store already on the map and this will help me locate other POIs nearby. Brionvega is the business on the far left. Unfortunately, I have no idea what this business does; it sounds like a hairdresser, but I‘m not sure so I am going to leave this to a local to add.

This leaves Bar Gambrinus in the centre. I find the category ‘Bar or Pub’ and add the name of the establishment. In the next image, I get a clear view of the address and can therefore add number 8. HERE has already worked out the street the address is associated with.

Adding a point of interest on Map Creator with Mapillary

Let’s look at another example. In another sequence, I see a nice-looking pasticceria right on the corner of two streets. It appears to be slightly out of position on the map, so we can use street-level imagery and satellite imagery to reposition it to better reflect its true position. I can’t see the address in the image so might be worthwhile someone driving this route again with the camera positioned at a 45° angle. This will help to capture street numbers.

Road characteristics

Let’s save our changes and move to a different part of Europe to focus on the road characteristics that can be derived from street-level imagery. We’re going to zoom into Nyíregyháza in Hungary where local contributors have been capturing a lot of imagery.

Speed limits

Speed limits can be added to roads in Map Creator very easily by using Mapillary’s traffic signs. We’re first going to activate the image layer again, and then Mapillary Traffic Signs by choosing support layers in the top right and toggling the layer.

Detected traffic signs will now appear on the map. To make this process even more effective we can enable the Highlight roads by speed limit option in the bottom right panel. This will colour code the roads to show their speed limits. Black indicates roads with no speed information and thus a good opportunity to add speed limit information.

In this instance we can see 30 km/h signs appearing, so I have selected one, zoomed in to confirm and added the information to the associated road.

Adding speed limits in Map Creator with Mapillary images

Direction of travel and number of lanes

We can use the image layer to determine the direction of travel and the number of lanes for the road segment. An arrow shows the direction of travel when you hover over the A to B and B to A options. For this road segment we can see that the direction of travel is correct, but there are in fact two lanes in each direction, so we can change that accordingly.

Adding lane information in Map Creator with Mapillary images

Surface quality and cycling accessibility

Adding the surface quality and cycling accessibility information makes navigation more effective. Now we are in downtown Nyíregyháza on a pedestrian-only road. It is evident from signage in the image that this is a pedestrian zone, and it has been labelled correctly in Map Creator. We can also add details on the surface type and whether or not it is suitable for cycling.

Adding cycling information in Map Creator with Mapillary images

These are just a few of the ways you can use Mapillary imagery in Map Creator. Images you collect with Mapillary will appear in Map Creator within hours, and the map edits you make will work their way into vehicle navigation systems, Facebook, mobile apps and elsewhere. That’s a huge step forward in the collection and dissemination of map data.

/Ed

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