Meta Refresh 2015

The web in your pocket

Sajjad Anwar


Making maps work on mobile.

Submitted Mar 7, 2015

The idea is to introduce few challenges in serving maps on the mobile web through Mapbox’s open source infrastructure. Embracing web standards and understanding device resources are key aspects. We will discuss how technologies like WebGL and vector tiles along with data formats like GeoJSON are setting the baseline for beatiful maps on mobile.


Maps have continously become the center stage for mobile web apps. They have gone from something that developers plug in at the last minute to a fully interactive element that governs the overall aesthetics of the application. We will talk about how this is important and how open source tools help add value and functionality to the maps. We will understand how maps are rendered in a browser in a mobile environment, and explore some of the recent improvements that push the limits of web technologies.


  • Why maps matter and how they are the focal point of applications.
  • Mapbox’s open source tool infrastructure, web standards and compatibility.
  • Performance considerations.
  • WebGL, vectors and how they compare to raster rendering techniques.
  • Why some of these challenges are nudging us to go native.


Not much really. If you have built an interactive map into your application, that’s great. If you understand how maps work on the web, that’s even better.

Speaker bio

Sajjad Anwar is a developer at Mapbox where he focuses on buidling data processing and productivity tools. He has been working closely with OpenStreetMap data and technology for over 6 years. As a strong advocate of open data, he is actively involved in its movement in India with initiatives like DataMeet and GeoBLR.


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