Emulating MapBox

Did you see this new Esri ArcGIS for Developers website go up? My initial comment:

@jiriteach well it doesn’t require flash to be installed so that’s a huge win.

— James Fee (@cageyjames) February 26, 2013

Yea, HTML5 is teh awesome, right? But you can’t but help to notice that it looks like someone else in the industry. Noted others:

Thank god MapBox patented cartoon maps in circles developers.arcgis.com/en/

— Tom MacWright (@tmcw) February 27, 2013

shameless imitation by @esri (developers.arcgis.com/en) of @mapbox design: does this foretell how they will approach open source code?

— Dane Springmeyer (@springmeyer) February 27, 2013

I’d like to think there wasn’t malicious intent here, just that those who created it want to be like MapBox and Developement Seed. Still, when the 800lb (363kg) gorilla does things like this, you can’t but help call it a dick move.

The Dude

Not Cool

Did you see this new Esri ArcGIS for Developers website go up? My initial comment:

http://spatiallyadjusted.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Yea, HTML5 is teh awesome, right? But you can’t but help to notice that it looks like someone else in the industry. Noted others:

http://spatiallyadjusted.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

http://spatiallyadjusted.com//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I’d like to think there wasn’t malicious intent here, just that those who created it want to be like MapBox and Developement Seed. Still, when the 800lb (363kg) gorilla does things like this, you can’t but help call it a dick move.

The Dude

Not Cool

Author: James Fee

National GIS/IT Practice Leader at Matrix New World

6 thoughts on “Emulating MapBox”

  1. And slippy maps emulate Google Maps. Is that “not cool”? There might be some background information that I am missing, but it seems reasonable to me that when someone creates a good product, other people will create similar products.

  2. Honestly if I am mapbox I feel totally flattered that ESRI is trying to look like me. But otherwise this gripe sounds whiney. So there are some similarities. It would not be too difficult to find other sites that look similar. What if the design is just popular? They didn’t copy their logo or anything. (That’s me, contradicting James since 1973, hope you are well)

    1. Look, I’ve got no dog in this fight. But MapBox has done much in the past year to create a look and feel that separates them from just about anyone else. I’m not saying Esri can’t go bootstrapish, but this thing just smells of MapBox.

  3. I find it very disturbing that the majority of GIS folks, particularly goverment, have no idea that MapBox exists, but as soons as ESRI releases it, decides it looks nice and is functional. ESRI is the catch-up on the web space, not the leader. Our government agencies claim to be broke, but wont go out and use these simple, beautfiul technologies unless thier ESRI overlords tells them its OK.

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