Uber Releases Open-Source Mapping Tool
Uber has made its internal mapping software open-source and public, reports Fast Co. Design writer Katharine Schwab. Originally built to process large amounts of location data generated by Uber rides, Kepler.gl is applauded for being lightweight and easy to use, and since been adopted by companies including Mapbox, Airbnb, Sidewalk Labs, and Limebike.
Internally, Uber uses the software to steer drivers to areas with high demand for rides and to improve routing of shared rides, as well as to demonstrate the company's popularity to city officials. Other users have analyzed the refugee crisis, deforestation, and coal mines, according to a spokesperson.
The software can process up to a million data points of any type of location data. It's also browser-based, which, according to Schwab, helps prevent Uber from accessing the data uploaded by users. The tool's public release is the company's latest attempt to rehabilitate its reputation for data secrecy.