September 9, 2020 • 2 min read

Customize your routing with the Map Annotations API

We recently announced our standalone Routing APIs, which allow customers to leverage the power of the rideOS routing engine without also using our optimization and dispatch products. Today we introduce our Map Annotations API, which allows customers to supply additional information about a given road or area and adjust parts of the map with custom attributes. Map Annotations will be useful for both human-driven and autonomous vehicle fleets and provides customers with more flexibility and customization options to fit the routing needs of their business.


A key use for Map Annotations is to create constraints that define certain operational areas and generate routes that avoid certain roads and turns. Constraints can be applied to any fleet, but are particularly useful for AVs, which often need to avoid smaller roads and alleyways or have difficulty making specific maneuvers such as unprotected left turns. It also addresses more complex scenarios, by allowing for multiple geometrical features per annotation, an example of which can be seen below.


map annotations

Several different types of features (area (A), path (B), and turn (C)) can be added with a single annotation using the rideOS Map Annotations API



Use Cases

There are a number of everyday routing scenarios where map annotations are useful. Our team is working on building the following annotations (and many others) into the Map Annotations API.


Setting maximum speed for a road or area

This is important for our autonomous vehicle customers, who often need to use self-imposed speed limits on their vehicles. Map annotations will allow customers to set a maximum speed for specific edges, and set a lower speed limit next to schools, crowded areas, or roads with a high risk of disengagement. This is a crucial feature in reducing risk and deploying a fleet safely.


Penalize a specific edge

Will allow for scenarios like custom routing penalties, where customers can adjust the route choice and ETA based on which edges, or parts of the map, are selected and calculated in the routing decision. 


Time-dependent annotations

Will allow customers to create constraints that only apply at certain times of the day. 


Pickup and dropoff constraints 

Will allow customers to restrict pickup/dropoff areas without restricting driving on the same road. 


Advanced map attributes

Rich data can help create more accurate routing and ETAs. Examples of map attributes include:

  • Elevation and slope data
  • Number and types of lanes
  • Curb regulations
  • Weight, height, and width restrictions for vehicles



We’re only beginning to explore the number of different ways map annotations can support our customers and help them get to market faster. The Map Annotations API is developer-friendly, can be implemented quickly, and can help customers support multiple-use cases.


If you’re interested in how map annotations can support your custom routing needs, check out our Map Annotations Guide or contact us!