Startup Mapbox is helping power Snapchat's new map feature


Snap's launch of its maps feature Wednesday is a big deal for millennials who want to see where their friends are. But it was also a big milestone for startup Mapbox, whose underlying technology helps make the new feature possible. While the interface and product is result of a lot of hard work by Snap, the underlying map technology draws on work by Mapbox.

It's the biggest consumer use yet of Mapbox's technology. The 250-person startup's platform is used by hundreds of companies, many in the enterprise space like IBM and Tableau.

Neither Mapbox nor Snapchat is crowing over the partnership, but a reference to the role is shown on the settings page for the new map feature.

Why it matters: While it's nice for Mapbox to have a big consumer-facing customer, the broad adoption also means lots more location data coming back to the company to further refine its mapping information.

Here's a look at the settings page that reveals Mapbox's role.