Announcing Capture Projects: An Entirely New Way of Collecting Map Data at Scale
Since the early days of Mapillary, we’ve focused on building the tools that allow people to understand the world at scale. Accessing map data has traditionally been a cumbersome, expensive, and slow process. That’s now changing fast. Through the combination of new computer vision technology and a remarkable community that spans across the entire world, we’ve together mapped 6.5 million kilometers in more than 190 countries. We’ve detected, positioned, and placed hundreds of millions of map features onto the global map, derived from the 450 million images that have been contributed to the Mapillary platform and our mission of understanding the world better.
Today we’re announcing the next step on that journey as we launch Capture Projects—an entirely new way for collecting map data at scale. Starting today, anyone can use Mapillary to task an unlimited number of people in their organization to capture imagery and map data at any given point, have all that data in their workflows, and build better maps quicker as a direct result.
Introducing Capture Projects
The idea behind Capture Projects is simple but powerful: by dividing an area into smaller tasks that several drivers can work on simultaneously, it’s possible to quickly and systematically cover an area with street-level imagery and access map data from that area. Capture Projects consists of a project dashboard on the Mapillary web app and a new mobile app, called Mapillary for Drivers. The dashboard allows you to manage street-level imagery capture by setting up tasks in any region of your choice and assign them to people in your organization. You can easily view drivers’ progress in the web app. Mapillary for Drivers is an app for the driver, where they can easily see what still needs mapping in their assigned tasks.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1. The area of interest is divided into tasks that are assigned to a team of drivers.
Step 2. Drivers complete tasks by capturing imagery and recording progress with the Mapillary for Drivers app.
Step 3. Project admins can follow the progress of the whole team in real time.
All imagery is processed with computer vision on the Mapillary platform, making fresh data available to anyone within just hours from uploading.
Getting started with Capture Projects
To get started, you need to be an admin for an organization on Mapillary (learn more about how to set one up). Go to the organization dashboard and you’ll notice “Capture” listed in the menu to your left. When you open it, you’ll be able to request access to the Capture Projects feature.
Accessing the Capture Projects feature on the Mapillary web app
When requesting access, we ask you to answer a few questions about the capture project you have in mind. Understanding what you’re aiming to achieve will let us help you make the most of Capture Projects as well as figure out how to improve the feature. We also might ask you to have a short call with us to get started.
Once we’ve enabled Capture Projects for your organization, we’ll let you know. Then you’ll be able to access the actual feature from the same dashboard menu and set up your first project: pick an area, apply a task grid to it, and add your team of drivers. The app will guide you through the steps and you can find more extensive documentation on our Help Center. If you need help finding drivers, you can let us know via the access request form.
Task grid for a project together with assigned drivers
With the project set up, you need to ask your drivers to download the Mapillary for Drivers app (currently available for iOS, with Android upcoming). As you assign tasks to drivers from the project dashboard, they will use the mobile app to accept the tasks and track progress as they complete them (see our Help Center for more information).
The app can also be used for capturing imagery—or you can use another capture setup such as a 360° camera or an action camera rig. We’re happy to advise about the choice of equipment so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Capturing street-level images and map data with Capture Projects
Capture Projects is the latest in our push to open up map data to everyone and make it as easy as possible to access. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts, and can’t wait to see the projects where Capture Projects will help you access better map data, faster.
/Johan, VP of Engineering