US: OpenStreetMap-based mapping platform, Mapbox, has announced a new feature: Smart Directions, navigation service that lets developers program customised routing profiles for location-based applications. Mapbox is rolling out this service across the entire fleet of Scoot scooters in San Francisco. It offers Smart Directions-powered navigation in the Scoot app so that its users of its scooters can avoid the hilliest routes around the city.
Above: Using Mapbox Smart Directions, Scoot riders are routed around steep hills, kept off highways, and even steered clear of streets with cable cars — with alternative routes given where convenient.
In January, Mapbox blogged about open source routing engine Project OSRM, and said its upcoming Directions API implements an enhanced and detailed graph model that captures many features beyond the basic topology. With OSRM, one not only gets the shortest or fastest route, but the OSRM’s algorithm also takes into account turn restrictions and cost like waiting at traffic lights, braking and accelerating at sharp turns, or steep hills for bicycle riders.
Above: Pick up a scooter from one place and drop it off at another, find the shortest or easiest route using the Mapbox's Smart Direction map feature
Although the price for the service has not yet been disclosed, it is believed to be part of the several additional features that Mapbox has been talking about in its blog since the last few months. This proves that although Smart Directions is Mapbox’s first additional feature on top of its main map service, it is definitely not the last.