Facilitating the Future of Mapillary: Updates for June 2021

Our team has been hard at work redesigning the platform inside and out. These changes include new features, but also improvements under the hood to help support the future of Mapillary.

Over the past few months we have redesigned and reimplemented much of the platform powering Mapillary. While most of the changes are internal, they come with some benefits and also a couple of changes to Mapillary’s feature set. The purpose of these changes is to continue to support Mapillary’s ongoing mission of mapping the world with street-level imagery.

We will walk through a high-level overview of the latest updates to Mapillary, highlighting the most important items. For some of the updates, separate dedicated posts will go into more detail in the future. Make sure to update to the latest version of the app on iOS to enjoy these features. If you are on Android you will need to download this new Mapillary app. Note, on Android this is a new app and not an update.

A new API

The new Mapillary API v4 gives access to the same great Mapillary data: images, map features, and object detections. The API relies primarily on vector tiles now, meaning that larger volumes of data are retrievable more quickly. A future, dedicated post will go into the details of the new API.

A redesigned upload system and experience

We have redesigned the entire upload and processing pipeline. This should lead to more stable and predictable upload and processing. We now also show uploads that are still processing more clearly separated in the uploads list.

More detailed upload feed Pending images are now shown in your profile feed.

Streamlined user account management

You may now update your Mapillary username and email at any time by visiting your profile page, with no need to contact Mapillary support or request any approval. This ensures that you can always have your preferred email address linked to your account, and that any username changes take place immediately as long as the changes adhere to Mapillary username format requirements.

Note that when signing in the first time on the new platform, you will have to reset your password. For more details refer to our dedicated post on this topic.

3D scene geometry display in Mapillary web

You can now see 3D scene information in Mapillary web! As you may know, all of Mapillary is in 3D “behind the scenes”. Now we expose this 3D information for you to explore. You can enable 3D point clouds, camera poses, and more:

View the point clouds behind the scenes of each image Point clouds and camera positions can now be viewed in 3D Mode.

Coverage age display in Mapillary web

You can now show coverage color-coded by age. This way, you can easily see where you may want to recapture.

Images color-coded by age Color-coded tiles show you imagery by age.

Better geo-search in Mapillary web

You can now search for street addresses in addition to place names in the Mapillary web app. Try this out by searching for a house number, as well as by searching for the name of a city, a hotel name, or a plaza.

Faster Mapillary data loading in iD and JOSM OpenStreetMap (OSM) editors

Thanks in part due to API v4, Mapillary data in iD and JOSM are now loading much faster, which should make your map editing sessions much smoother. In the past, viewing an area with a lot of imagery such as Malmö, Sweden would lead to long load times. This is thanks to a re-implementation of the Mapillary OSM integrations based on the aforementioned API v4, and using the Mapbox Vector Tile 2.1 standard, which is now implemented in OSM editors. In the past, GeoJSON data was requested by bounding box API calls from the editor clients. The attributes of Mapillary data are now more concise, which also reduces the size and load time of the tiles and API requests.

Things we are retiring or pausing

While we added a number of optimizations and new features, we also retired and paused a few parts of the Mapillary platform:

  • Leaderboards (will be back soon)
  • Social logins via Google, Facebook, or OSM are replaced by email login
  • Marketplace, Capture Projects, Verification projects: we plan to bring back tasking for capture and data verification in a new form
  • Sequence editing will be retired aside from blur editing (Mapillary web app)
  • Tagging and commenting capabilities will be retired(Mapillary web app)
  • The Web Uploader - Please use our Desktop Uploader or CLI tools for uploads outside the mobile apps
  • Object detections are only available for and through map feature classes, and not as their own entity.

The road ahead

The goal of these changes is to reaffirm Mapillary’s core features, keeping a simple focus on the data and functionality that our users depend on most often. Simplicity, speed, and efficiency define the updates, which lays out the foundation on which future updates will be built. Going forward, Mapillary continues to be the platform built with community collaboration that makes street-level images and map data available to scale and automate mapping with a global service accessible to all.

/Till & Chris

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