“The partnership is aimed at creating fully adaptable, fast-loading, and responsive maps for MapQuest’s world-class mapping solutions. This commercial agreement allows MapQuest to leverage Mapbox’s highly detailed and visually stunning maps tailored to meet the individual needs of its users and business-to-business clients,“ Mapquest wrote in a press release.
MapQuest announced a roadmap of upgrade until the end of the year including: “faster, more responsive MapQuest.com for mobile and desktop, new tablet experience to leverage MapQuest’s fastest growing platform“ and “new mobile experiences including enhanced features for urban users.“
While Mapbox is mostly known for using the crowdsourced, free data from Openstreetmap (OSM), the company can also play nicely with commercial map data from TomTom and Nokia HERE. “We are data agnostic,“ said Eric Gundersen, the CEO of Mapbox, in a phone call with GPS Business News.
After being a long time customer of HERE, MapQuest has been using TomTom data since they signed a multiyear partnership in June 2014 (read here) with the Dutch company. However MapQuest has also been for a long time a supporter of Openstreetmap, AOL launching in 2010 a $1 million fund to support the growth of OSM in the United States (read here).
Whether the TomTom licensing agreement will continue in the future is unknown at this point.
Mapbox on the rise
Created in 2010 in Washington D.C., Mapbox raised $10 million in a series A round in October 2013 (read here4462). Mapbox has been differentiating from the competition through customization and design and the use of Openstreetmap as the raw map data. The coverage growth and rising accuracy of Openstreetmap database, plus the decision of Google to make developers pay for Google Maps in 2012 (read here) were two significant drivers in Mapbox growth.
With Mapquest Eric Gundersen, the CEO of Mapbox, is adding one more large customer to a list that already include many well known companies such as Foursquare, Pinterest, Github, Evernote, Runkeeper or National Geographic to name just U.S. based clients. International media such as Financial Times, The Guardian, Die Zeit and Le Monde are also customers.
Mapquest is a a significant customer because it still represents 20 percent market share of the U.S. mapping platforms – according to market research firm Comscore – playing hard against massive competitors Google and Apple.
“Mapbox currently has 5,000 paying customers“ said Gundersen. “In May our solution was used by 50,000 developers.“