Choose an approach

The Mapbox Navigation SDK's core logic and UI elements provide different ways to create a turn-by-turn navigation experience. Various approaches have their own benefits and limitations. This guide will walk you through the options and provide some guidance on how to get started with each.

As a reminder and as explained in the Nav SDK overview, the core part of the Navigation SDK provides navigational logic such as route requesting and determining when the device is off-route. The UI part of the Navigation SDK provides pre-built UI elements.

Drop-in UI

If the only map in your application is used to facilitate a turn-by-turn navigation experience, Mapbox offers a more customizable approach: the Navigation UI SDK's NavigationView.


  • Broad set of customizable options
  • Predefined UI elements


  • Limited options for modifying NavigationView layout elements
  • No seamless access to the MapView's instance

Add the NavigationView

The NavigationView class extends the Android View class. NavigationView is similar to the Maps SDK's MapView class in terms of creating a map and customizing it. The difference is that the navigation functionality is already built in and does not have to be added via the core Navigation SDK. After initialization of NavigationView, the startNavigation(NavigationViewOptions options) method can be called to start the turn-by-turn navigation experience on the initialized map.


Display the NavigationView

Collection of standalone components

If you want to build a completely customizable turn-by-turn experience, you can use the core Navigation SDK to build standalone navigation components on top of the Maps SDK for Android's MapView. This approach may also be appropriate if you'd like to integrate components of turn-by-turn navigation into an existing mapping application. For example, you could use the Navigation SDK to request a DirectionsRoute and use the Maps SDK to draw a two-color gradient line that follows the same path as the DirectionsRoute, but you don't plan on providing turn-by-turn instructions.


  • Completely customizable
  • Navigation can be done on same MapView that is used for other tasks


  • No out-of-the-box solution
  • Layout and function need manual implementation

Build a collection of components

The interplay of the Maps SDK's MapView and the navigation logic that's provided by the Navigation SDK's MapboxNavigation class, creates the most customizable approach to turn-by-turn navigation experiences. This combination brings together the MapView class, which allows for embedding highly customizable maps, and the full flexibility of the MapboxNavigation class. This allows you to customize every detail of the navigation experience without having to build it completely from scratch (using Mapbox APIs directly).

  • Map: You will need to include a MapView element in your project's layout XML file. You can read more about how to customize MapView in the Maps SDK for Android documentation.
  • Route: Display a route on the map (Navigation UI SDK's NavigationMapRoute standalone component can be used).
  • Route events: A RouteProgressObserver can be attached, which implements callbacks related to route progress. An OffRouteObserver can also be attached.
  • Instructions: To include an InstructionView panel that displays instructions as needed along the route, you will need to include an InstructionView element in your project's layout XML file. This panel can also include navigation icons that show what maneuver to take next. Any icons can be used, but Mapbox offers an open set of icons.
  • Route summary: Most turn-by-turn navigation experiences also include a way to view a list of all instructions along with a summary of the distance and time required to complete the route (Navigation UI SDK's SummaryBottomSheet standalone component can be used).
  • Feedback: You should include a mechanism for users to provide feedback (Navigation UI SDK's FeedbackButton and FeedbackBottomSheet standalone components can be used).
  • Voice: You should include instructions for the NavigationSpeechPlayer to read out loud (Navigation UI SDK's VoiceInstructions can be used).
Basic Navigation + Maps SDK integration

Shows how to combine the Maps SDK with only the Navigation SDK and no Navigation UI SDK code of any kind.