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Discussion on: I'm an open source enthusiast at Mapbox, the creator of Leaflet and 40+ other JS libraries, and a rock musician. AMA!

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Isaac Besora Vilardaga

What are your thoughts on 3D mapping? It seems that in the near future, with autonomous cars on the roads, there will be an amazing amount of point cloud data that should be mapped. Removing a dimension of that data to draw it in 2D seems wasteful.

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Vladimir Agafonkin Ask Me Anything

I definitely see an explosion in the adoption of 3D mapping technologies coming very soon. The two biggest limiting factors up till now were:

  1. Technical limitations such as browser performance, computing power on a typical user's machine — those were pretty much solved. Browsers are now extremely fast, the unbelievably powerful APIs such as WebGL now have mainstream support, and most people carry unbelievable computing power in their pockets. And this change happened much faster than anyone anticipated.
  2. The complexity of dealing with 3D — building easy to use software and APIs, implementing sophisticated visualization techniques, etc. This battle is still ongoing, and my colleagues at Mapbox are working hard to help bring those technologies to widespread adoption sooner.