Glossary

map view

Web maps consist of individual tiles for efficient rendering in a browser. As users interact with maps by panning or zooming, more tiles are loaded. To track usage of maps, the number of tiles loaded is counted as map views. Tiles can be rendered three ways:

  • Mapbox styles using vector sources
  • Mapbox Static API
  • Classic styles and raster tilesets

Map views vary for each method.

Styles using vector sources (4 tiles)

When using a Mapbox style, a single map view is recorded when four tiles are loaded in the viewport. When a user zooms past zoom 16, overzooming is available saving on tile loads.

The number of tiles that you request determines the number of map views. You can composite vector tile sources to reduce the number of tiles that are requested resulting in fewer map views. See below for more details on composite sources as they relate to Mapbox-designed styles, custom styles made in Mapbox Studio, and adding vector data at runtime using Mapbox GL JS.

Options
Results
total tiles: 0
from initial style: 0
from added source: 0
map views: 0
from initial style: 0
from added source: 0

Mapbox-designed styles

Mapbox-designed styles generally include multiple vector sources. As an example, the Mapbox Streets style includes two different sources: the Mapbox Streets tileset for street data and Mapbox Terrain for land cover and elevation data.

All Mapbox-designed styles use composite sources. Source compositing improves label placement calculations across tilesets and makes maps load faster by reducing the number of tile requests made to display a map. Here's an example of a style JSON excerpt that bundles both the Mapbox Streets tileset and Mapbox Terrain tileset into a single composite source:

"sources": {
  "composite": {
      "url": "mapbox://mapbox.mapbox-streets-v8,mapbox.mapbox-terrain-v2",
      "type": "vector"
  }
}

Custom Mapbox Studio styles

When a style is created in Mapbox Studio, all vector sources are composited by default. As a result, vector sources added to your style in Mapbox Studio will not affect the number of map views billed.

Mapbox-hosted vector sources added at runtime

It is also possible to request additional vector sources on the web or mobile client. You can combine any Mapbox style with a Mapbox-maintained tileset, like Terrain v2 or Traffic v1, or tilesets that you upload to Mapbox Studio. Sources added on the client will not be composited so every tile from each vector source will be requested separately, counting toward total map views.

See this Mapbox GL JS code example where a Mapbox-designed style is combined with a Mapbox-hosted vector source on the client.

GeoJSON sources and third-party sources

Beyond requesting vector tiles from Mapbox directly, it is possible to combine Mapbox styles and Mapbox-hosted vector sources with arbitrary data sources on the client. A developer could combine Mapbox Streets with parking, event, or streaming data hosted on their servers. Mapbox will only bill for tiles requested from Mapbox servers.

See this Mapbox GL JS example where a Mapbox style is combined with arbitrary GeoJSON data.

Mapbox Static API (1 request)

One map view is counted when you make a single request to the Mapbox Static API (for creating static map images).

static API callEach Mapbox Static API request is one request

Classic styles and raster tilesets (15 tiles)

If you are using a Mapbox Editor project, Mapbox Studio Classic style, or any Mapbox-hosted raster tileset containing 256 x 256 tiles (for example, mapbox.satellite, a map view is counted when 15 tiles are loaded on the map.

These counts are typical for a single page view on most websites. More than one map view can be generated during a single session as your users interact with the map.

Why is the number of tiles per map view different across Mapbox tools? Tiles from Mapbox Studio styles cover more pixels, making four tiles from Mapbox Studio styles roughly equivalent to 15 tiles from Mapbox Editor projects and Mapbox Studio Classic styles.

See our Pricing page to see how many map views your plan includes. For high-volume annual discounts, contact our sales team to learn more about our custom plan offerings.

For native mobile applications and Unity applications, Mapbox counts usage via monthly active users instead of map views.