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Upgrading to Vector Tiles


The latest version of the JavaScript Maps SDK uses vector map tiles, which provide a wide range of additional features and benefits compared with our traditional JavaScript maps (formerly ALK Maps), which use raster tiles. In almost all cases, we recommend new Trimble Maps customers take advantage of the vector tile offering. This guide is meant to help existing raster customers understand how to upgrade to vector maps, as an upgrade requires client-side changes.

Whichever option you choose, we will continue to update all of our maps with the latest data designed specifically for commercial vehicles.

Upgrade steps

1. Test your browser

If you haven’t already, please use our test page to check that the browser you are using is compatible with vector maps. Most modern browsers are able to render vector graphics but older browsers, or browsers built for specific hardware, may not.

2. Consider features and requirements

While both our raster and vector maps platforms support map rendering, routing, geocoding and many other features, they operate very differently. As a result some features may not be directly applicable in vector as they are in raster. We recommend:

  1. Create a checklist of the features you are currently using with raster maps.
  2. Compare how those features work in vector maps versus your current raster implementation. Our guides and examples cover the many of the most common use cases. If you don’t find what you are looking for please don’t hesitate to contact our support team. They are more than happy to help you. The table below may help get you started.
Use CaseExamples
Map InitializationRaster/Vector
Context MenuRaster/Vector
Change Map StyleRaster/Vector
Custom PanelRaster/Vector
EU Toll Detail ReportRaster/Vector
Feature PopupRaster/Vector
Feature VisibilityRaster/Vector
Geocoding ResultsRaster/Vector
Layer VisibilityRaster/Vector
POI LayerRaster/Vector
Road Surface LayerRaster/Vector
Route ReportRaster/Vector

3. Consider your current software architecture

Does your existing application with raster maps make direct calls to Trimble Maps objects and functions throughout the code? If so, you may first want to consider creating your own mapping interface to provide a degree of separation between the map library and the rest of the application. That way, when switching from raster to vector, you will only have to update that mapping interface, not the entire application.

For raster users who already have this map abstraction in place, the switch to vector maps is more straight-forward.

Last updated October 4, 2022.