Software and Technology

Mapbox: Providing the best content across the site for users


Although initially implemented for its help center, after seeing instant search experience improvement, Mapbox has implemented Elastic Site Search (formerly Swiftype Site Search) in multiple places across its site.


By using the simple-to-use relevance tuning of Elastic Site Search service, Mapbox is able to provide the right results to the right people at the right time.


Mapbox is regularly diving into the built-in analytics dashboard of Elastic Site Search to provide better content to their users.

Company Overview

Mapbox is a location data platform for mobile and web applications. They provide building blocks for developers to add location features like maps, search, and navigation into any experience they create. Mapbox’s strong customer portfolio includes The Weather Channel, Tableau, General Electric, and National Geographic. Together, Mapbox’s customers are shaping the way 300 million people explore the world.

Mapbox’s Journey with Elastic

Before they started using Elastic Site Search, Mapbox had to build in specific page filtering for each API documentation page. This was cumbersome and they knew it wouldn’t scale for additional SDKs and other frameworks that they’d eventually have come online. They also needed a way for the search functionality to cover the entirety of their site while still having some selective control over what it crawled.


As Mapbox looked to meet the needs of their wide array of users, they wanted to ensure a streamlined and tailored experience that gave users fast access to relevant documentation so they can make the most of their use of Mapbox’s technology. Elastic Site Search provided a tool to help them deliver relevant content so their customers can find what they’re looking for faster.


Although used across the entire site, Mapbox’s core use case for Elastic Site Search is in their help center where they leverage the search technology to give their customers easy access to the documentation that’s relevant to their specific needs. With Elastic Site Search, Mapbox was able to just add a code snippet to all the areas of their site they needed covered by search, eliminating the previously cumbersome process by which they would add search to each page across the site.

Using Elastic Site Search’s built-in crawler, Mapbox was able to crawl pages selectively for content and pull various categories and tags for filtering. Mapbox was also able to blacklist portions of their site to keep results relevant. They also now have the ability to tailor content to the specific user and weigh out specific terms to differentiate content on similar searches. All of these features helped deliver a much tighter search experience along with a better overall user experience across the site.

Knowing search can always be improved, Mapbox continuously monitors their metrics dashboard to look for oddities or patterns that give insight to how their customers are finding the info they need. When customers search for terms that are not currently listed in the glossary or keyword store, Mapbox can find these and add them as synonyms so users always get the search results they are hoping to receive. Mapbox knows that Elastic Site Search has the tuning and boosting options to make sure that a user never sees: No results found :(.