Map Solutions 2016: The Modern Map Story


In Ukraine, events in the area of geographic information technologies are sparse.

That’s one of the reasons for our 50 North team to participate eagerly in events gathering mapping professionals and enthusiasts. We are following our mission to provide informational platform for sharing ideas, news, innovations and inspiration in the area of geospatial technology.


The further time goes, the more spatial data is gathered. Companies and governments need more robust and complex geospatial tools and methods for developing sustainable solutions, and it is essential to have opportunity to share solutions that developers come up with while resolving issues that cartography is facing. It was very satisfying to see throughout ‘Map Solutions’ conference held by Intellias , that organizers succeeded in creating space for exchanging solutions and best practices among map developers.

On the sunny Saturday morning of 4th of June, over a hundred  ‘Map Solutions’ attendees had arrived to one of the business centers in Kyiv. The conference begun, and the listeners immersed themselves into the geospatial world covered by the speakers. The event had an intensive program, and a very energetic atmosphere throughout. The talks were given by leading professionals, covering state-of-the-art topics of the GIS industry.


One of the opening presentations, made by Victor Shcherb (OsmAnd), gave an insight into map design development and its importance for using the map. OsmAnd is a mobile application for navigation that uses data provided by OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia platforms, so naturally map design has become one of key expertise areas of the company. Victor was explaining the relation between map design and map function, and what principles cartographers follow when developing map design for devices of various screen size and quality.

Next up, Andrey Golovin (Mapbox) shared data representation adjustments OpenStreetMap is going through, aiming for greater automobile navigation aptitude of OSM data.

Andrey’s Mapbox colleague Vladimir Agafonkin shared an inspiring story of interactive cartography, and described main challenges in contemporary vector map development. Thr audience was impressed by Vladimir’s productivity, as he seems to follow principle “If you want to do something properly, then do it yourself” and has created several JavaScript libraries for vital tasks, LeafletJS library among them.

Carlos Matallin, technical lead from CartoDB, made pleasantly contemplative speech. Besides telling about capabilities of CartoDB, Carlos also encouraged the audience to think about the changes that had happened in the world since the beginning of location intelligence era.

The Here Maps team was represented at the conference by Andriy Shnyr and Alex Gonopolskiy who narrated, respectively, about patch-by-patch map updating methodology and sustainable map updating for offline use.

Ilya Zverev from Maps.Me also elaborted productivity issues, his focus was on data extraction and map rendering.

For those of you who are waiting for a task management software that would launch reminders depending on one’s location, you’d probably like the presentation of Nikita Platonenko (FamilyInSafe), he shared challenges and solutions in clustering location point data in order to create smart check-ins.

Vladislav Ivanov (QROK) shared practical experience and tips on iBeacon-based indoor navigation, that can help improving positioning accuracy and avoid radiomagnetic interference.


All the talks were extensive and elaborated to get a grasp of the covered issue, and the topics were of good relevance for the industry. The audience mainly consisted of IT professionals, while it is worth mentioning that not all the attendees were involved in the projects dealing with map development. We can speculate that it is a sign of GIS technologies getting a wider application sphere.
Commitment of the audience was remarkable: participants responded to reports with numerous and diverse questions! As we know, attentive audience is a sign of high quality content and sufficient quantity of coffee..One observation worth mentioning  was that all the speakers at the conference were male, as well as vast majority of the audience. We would love to see women progressively contributing to the program and participating in the future events as well.

The event was well organized, and thanks to precise timekeeping many participants could attend the presentation of ‘Here Maps’ mapping car, while few lucky ones could get a short ride inside and experience gathering field data for map production.


Team of 50 North Spatial blog enjoyed conference a lot! It is such a pleasure to spend weekend in the environment full of map development geeks. We are hoping for more events like ‘Map Solutions’ to happen in the future!

Having heard catchy geomatic stories during ‘Map Solutions’, our authors will go in depth on some issues in the next posts in order to share with our readers some good stuff they may missed.

More on ‘Map Solutions’ will come soon.

If you have attended the conference, we’d like to hear your impressions and feedback as well! Please share in the comment section below.