Project highlights
  • Evaluate landscapes for safety
  • Embrace a new world of adventure
  • Reveal exact whereabouts on terrain
Entertainment, Recreation, Outdoor Navigation
London, UK
Team size:
2 members
February 2017 – present

About the client

Our client is a mature British startup that’s using mapping technology to build an adventure platform with Unity-powered 3D maps for over 100 major mountain resorts around the globe. Available for web, iOS, and Android, our client’s product is a reliable guide for hikers, mountain bikers, skiers, and snowboarders to enhance their outdoor activities. The application helps to make adventures safer and lets outdoor enthusiasts peek around the hard-to-reach corners of mountain resorts.

Outdoor Adventure Mapping Platform

The client came with the challenge

Mobile technology and digital mapping software have been soaring in popularity among outdoor adventurers due to the capabilities it offers improved safety, terrain awareness, and the ability to share experiences. Understanding this, our client wanted to take their existing high-resolution 3d mapping solutions to a new level. When they came to Intellias, their solution was confined to the boundaries of 30 mountain resorts, but our client wanted to go beyond 100. They also planned to offer global map data coverage that would bring more opportunities and freedom to users.

The challenge of this project lay in completely redesigning the 3D map data processing pipeline. Our client needed to automate and speed up map compilation and rendering to handle ever-increasing data volumes. Lacking in-house expertise in architecture at such a scale, they approached Intellias for architectural consulting and supervision because of our experience delivering complex navigation solutions and mapping services for the location-based solutions.

Intellias developed the solution 

We began from our client’s vision of the new data processing pipeline for their outdoor adventure map platform. It was crucial for us to get a thorough view of present and future data processing and compilation needs. Over a series of brainstorming workshops on mapping software solutions, our architects looked deeply into questions of versioning, tile normalization, pipeline orchestration, Amazon Web Services setup, performance capabilities, and constraints. 

Warrived at the following conclusions: 

  • The scale-up would require a Python-driven pipeline orchestration engine aligned with the database availability group concept
  • For pipeline consistency and streamlined communication among components, a MetaStore layer based on Cassandra NoSQL DB and RabbitMQ (respectively) would be best
  • Docker would be ideal for containerizing computational tasks
  • Amazon Web Services – S3, EC2, EMR cluster with Spark, and RDS – were best suited for cloud computing
  • Use of the MetaStore layer and AWS S3 buckets also saw a lot of discussion in the context of the design of the data delivery router service

We achieved great results together

Intellias proposed a set of architectural decisions for the spatial data processing pipeline and the separation of pre-processed GIS operations. We also offered recommendations on the optimal technology stack. The technologies we considered are popular and have been widely used to meet similar challenges. 

Intellias consultation on architecture design helped our client: 

  • Transform their vision into a neat and comprehensive stakeholder-approved architectural design that was ready for development 
  • Breathe confidence into the technical viability of their undertaking to create the world’s first global 3D outdoor map 
  • Work out a firm method of accurately estimating efforts, budgets, time-to-market, and risk factors 
  • Reduce the deployment time for applications fed by multiple data sources, including tri-stereoscopic satellite imagery and accurate altitude data 
  • Implement the most recent satellite technology to make map resolution five times higher than the competition 
  • Offer outdoor fans fast and accurate tools for figuring out terrain from an abstraction, including aspect, altitude, gradient, and flats