Map Data on Demand: Announcing the Mapillary Marketplace
Mapping is a global challenge. Cities, streets, and roads everywhere are changing with increasing speed, while our daily lives heavily depend on the knowledge about what is where, affecting everything from navigation to providing basic utilities like water and power. The rise of new mobility and delivery services makes the need for detailed, up-to-date maps even more acute. It’s impossible for any single player’s mapping fleet to keep up with these demands across the globe.
That’s where we come in. Mapillary scales and automates mapping using collaboration, cameras, and computer vision. Anyone can collect street-level imagery and share it on the Mapillary platform. We process the imagery with computer vision to generate map data that helps people and organizations around the world to build better maps, improve cities and infrastructure, and develop mobility and traffic safety.
Today we’re taking collaboration one step further by launching the world’s first on-demand marketplace for street-level imagery and map data. The Mapillary Marketplace connects supply and demand for generating map data when and where it’s needed, making mapping globally scalable and fast.
How the Mapillary Marketplace works
The Mapillary Marketplace is a digital and demand-driven marketplace where organizations in need of map data meet people willing to offer their services for capturing images and verifying the data generated from these images. Mapmakers, cities, and NGOs alike can post requests on the Marketplace for capturing fresh imagery or verifying machine-generated map data in a certain location.
The mapping requests are available for anyone to pick up. Mapillary’s global contributor network already spans 190 countries all over the world: people and organizations have contributed more than 540 million images to the platform so far, and verified 4.5 million machine-generated object detections. Anyone can easily join this community and start participating in a project, helping to improve maps, infrastructure, and mobility in their hometown and beyond.
There are two types of projects that can be listed on the Marketplace: imagery capture projects and data verification projects. Here is how they work.
Imagery capture projects enable covering an area with fresh imagery. The chosen location is divided into smaller task areas that several drivers can work on at the same time. The drivers go through a qualification process and are compensated for their time as they complete tasks in the mapping project, meaning that the organization requesting the imagery has to pay for the service. All imagery will be processed with Mapillary’s technology to automatically extract map data.
Data verification projects enable adding human review to machine-generated map data. In a game-based setting, contributors verify whether Mapillary’s algorithms have detected different objects correctly in images. Faulty detections will be removed from Mapillary’s database and the feedback will be used for further improving the detection algorithms. Requesting verification projects is free of charge and contributors get rewarded with game points instead of money.
The Marketplace is available through the Mapillary web app. To see the Marketplace listings, go to the Mapillary web app and click on the “Marketplace” icon at the top of the map view.
For organizations: how do I request map data? To request map data through the Marketplace, you need to have an organization account on Mapillary. Go to your organization dashboard on the Mapillary web app to set up a new capture project or verification project. You’ll see the option for publishing it on the Marketplace and can add a description to tell potential contributors what this project is about.
For contributors: how do I join a project? If you’re a contributor, go to the Marketplace listing on the Mapillary web to see which projects are currently available. As you view a project, you’ll also see the option to join it. Data verification projects are built as a game and you can join them directly. You just need to be signed in to your Mapillary account (it’s easy to create one if you don’t have it yet).
Capture projects give you the chance to earn money for the time you spend driving around and collecting imagery for an organization. You need to submit an application (this only takes a few minutes) and be qualified for the project before you get started. The link to do that is available through the project listing.
The Marketplace addresses the ever-increasing need for fresh map data by providing an entirely new way for people and organizations all over the world to collaborate and use the power of world-leading technology to scale and automate mapping. We’re excited to see where the next requests come from and to help make mapping efficient for everyone.
Note that imagery capture at this stage can be requested everywhere in the US and Europe, while data verification projects are available to request globally. We’re working to expand the Marketplace for capture projects into more regions.
/Jan Erik, CEO