Mapbox enters Japan with Zenrin support; grabs Yahoo! JAPAN as client

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Mapbox Japan

Digital mapping startup Mapbox has joined forces with one of Japan’s biggest mapmakers, Zenrin, to provide live location data services and solutions to Japanese developers. The startup, which has been hailed as a ‘future unicorn’, has acquired Yahoo! JAPAN – the leading consumer application in Japan – and Komatsu – the top construction enterprise in Japan – as its first customers.

Zenrin, which has been mapping Japan for the last 70 years, has data covering almost 100% of all Japanese roads and neighborhoods. Mapbox has integrated this data into its living map platform to offer real-time traffic and dynamic change detection in Japan.

The Mapbox platform will allow Yahoo! JAPAN to overhaul its online and mobile maps and offer more tailored and personalized location experiences to its user base. For instance, beginning this Autumn, Yahoo! Weather users in Japan can expect to see highly accurate and up-to-date weather visualizations.

“As the most visited destination in Japan, we need to provide the best, most performant map to our users,” Keita Hakoda, Unit Manager of Yahoo JAPAN’s Local Services, points out. “Integrating with live location platform Mapbox will help us deliver new and customized features for our user base. We pride ourselves on making daily improvements to our services, and using live location from AI-powered, continuously updated maps will allow us to bring more tailored personalized products and experiences to users.”

Related: New pay-as-you-go pricing for Mapbox

The partnership with Komatsu, meanwhile, intends to display what Mapbox can do for enterprises. Leveraging the Mapbox platform, for example, Komatsu engineers can monitor the drones flying over their construction sites in real-time.

Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen is convinced Komatsu is transforming the way cities are built. “The drones are talking in real-time with autonomous diggers and bulldozers moving the land, and using Mapbox to be more efficient. And then, the Mapbox map helps the dump trucks queue up,” he explains. “This is a platform that is going to be used globally, not just here in Japan.”

Ishveena is a geospatial enthusiast and a veteran of creating and managing compelling digital content for organizations and individuals. When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find her exploring nature, eating her way through life, or binge-watching funny animal videos.