How It Works: Sharing a Tip

What is a Tip?

If you have ever used GPS before, chances are you've heard a direction along a route that was either vague, difficult to understand, or flat out wrong. We have too!

With Mapkin, we've built tools directly into the app that allow you to easily share information (or "tips") on how to enhance & improve those directions.

How to Share a Tip

We understand people user their phones in different ways when navigating. Some prefer to hold the phone in their hand while other's use a mount or throw it in their trusty cupholder. That's why Mapkin features a number of different ways for drivers to share a tip including Voice tips, Quick Tips, Text Tips, and the Tip Jar.

- Voice Tips -

Voice tips allow drivers to share local information in real time during a drive. On a drive and hear a prompt that should have mentioned a traffic light or a helpful landmark? Pass an area where Mapkin should have played a prompt but didn't? Share a voice tip! During your drive, simply press and hold on the screen to begin recording. After you finish speaking your tip, simply swipe up to send your tip to the Mapkin team.

Each time you share a tip, Mapkin receives the audio recording of your tip along with the location of where you were when you shared it. This allows us to identify the specific road, turn, and/or landmark your were referring to in order to create a new direction.

Above is an example of what we see when viewing a voice tip. The blue line shows the route, the green line shows where the original Mapkin prompt played, the purple line shows where the voice tip was shared, and the gray box on the corner shows where the landmark (McDonald's) is.

Above is an example of what we see when viewing a voice tip. The blue line shows the route, the green line shows where the original Mapkin prompt played, the purple line shows where the voice tip was shared, and the gray box on the corner shows where the landmark (McDonald's) is.

A common voice tip might sound something like "There's a set of lights at this turn" or "That turn is right after the McDonald's on the corner".

Each morning, we listen to each individual tip our drivers share in order to create new improved directions that help everyone. This process involves examining each individual route, reviewing the original Mapkin prompt that played, listening to the individual voice tip that was shared, locating which turn or landmark the tip is referencing, and then using our tools to insert the new local data to create a new enhanced direction. This thorough review & verification process ensures the accuracy of Mapkin directions. It's also why there can be a slight delay from the time a tip is shared to when it becomes an actual direction and goes live in the app.

- Quick Tips - 

Quick Tips allows you to easily share tips and improve directions with the touch of a button! Mapkin will display an icon directly on the map at every turn along your route. Simply tap the green teardrop icon and select the appropriate tip to easily add a light, stop sign, landmark, or local tip!

- Text Tips - 

Not interested in sharing voice tips while you drive? That's okay! After you finish a drive, simply tap the "Give feedback about my drive" to display a list of all the prompts that played along your route. Simply tap on any of the prompts you wish to leave a comment on and type your tip.

Was there a generic "Turn right onto Main Street" prompt that should have mentioned the Starbucks on the corner? Simply tap that specific prompt and type "This turn is right after the Starbucks on the corner". We'll use your tip to update that existing prompt to include the new helpful landmark! The next time you or anyone else take that turn you will hear "After the Starbucks, turn right onto Main Street" thanks to your tip!

- Tip Jar - 

The Tip Jar is a web based tool that allows you to share tips directly from a computer without having to drive. Using the Tip Jar, you can now quickly share tips the that make driving in your neighborhood safer and easier for everyone (from the comfort of your couch)! Check it out:

What Types of Tips to Share

We realize there are multiple ways to improve directions. We've built a system that allows us to control many of the common types of tips that make driving easier and safer. However, there are also some types of tips that we don't currently support.

The best way to think about tips is like you're leaving a casual note to the Mapkin team about 1) how to improve an existing prompt you heard or 2) adding a new prompt that should play in a spot where Mapkin does not currently have one.

Tips Mapkin currently supports:

Landmarks: Mapkin can insert helpful landmarks into prompts that provide drivers with more context on when to make a specific turn. We've found that gas stations, churches and popular stores & restaurants on corners (McDonald's, Starbucks, etc) are helpful visual cues that alert drivers when to turn. Spot a helpful landmark on a corner that we should mention in a prompt? Share a tip!

Here's an example of a great landmark. When heading North on Main Street, the left turn is directly after the white church. This voice tip said "The left turn is just after the big white church."

Here's an example of a great landmark. When heading North on Main Street, the left turn is directly after the white church. This voice tip said "The left turn is just after the big white church."

Traffic Lights: Similar to landmarks, traffic lights are really great turn indicators. Everyone likes to know that they should turn right or left at the light. Make a turn at a set of lights that Mapkin didn't mention? Share a tip!

This is an example of a set of traffic lights serving as a great indicator of when to turn. The driver in the black Jeep could leave a voice tip that says "The left turn onto Dale Street is at the set of lights".

This is an example of a set of traffic lights serving as a great indicator of when to turn. The driver in the black Jeep could leave a voice tip that says "The left turn onto Dale Street is at the set of lights".

Local Hints: Is a turn easy to miss? Is the street you're driving on popular for walkers and cyclists? Does the road get really curvy ahead? Share a local tip that Mapkin can use to create a totally new prompt that will help other drivers navigate safer and easier!

Here's an example of an area where a driver left a local tip about cyclists. The bike path on the right is a bit hidden and bikers tend to pop out without warning. This voice tip said "Be on the lookout for bikers crossing from the bike path on your right."

Here's an example of an area where a driver left a local tip about cyclists. The bike path on the right is a bit hidden and bikers tend to pop out without warning. This voice tip said "Be on the lookout for bikers crossing from the bike path on your right."

Lane Guidance: Encounter a turn that required you to move into a certain lane ahead of time? Help other drivers be prepared by sharing a tip about which lanes are the best to use along your route!

Here is a great example of an intersection with both a set of lights and lane guidance. A voice tip here said "This is a set of lights with 3 lanes. You need to be in the left lane to turn left." 

Here is a great example of an intersection with both a set of lights and lane guidance. A voice tip here said "This is a set of lights with 3 lanes. You need to be in the left lane to turn left." 

Tricky Intersections: Encounter a really complicated intersection that requires detailed instructions to navigate? Share a local tip that will help other's make it through those tricky areas with ease!

This is a tricky intersection where a driver must take a right then a quick left. A voice tip here said "This is tricky. You want to use the right lane to turn right by the Shell but then take an immediate left before the Walgreens."

This is a tricky intersection where a driver must take a right then a quick left. A voice tip here said "This is tricky. You want to use the right lane to turn right by the Shell but then take an immediate left before the Walgreens."

Bugs: Oops. Did we goof? Sorry! Embrace your inner proofreader and let us know if you hear a poor instruction that should be fixed.

Mapkin does not currently support the following types of tips:

Alternate Routes: We realize there are many different ways to get to a destination and often times there shortcuts along the way. At the moment, we don't currently support these types of tips.

Temporary Road Closures: At times roads may close, shut down for repairs or construction, or have temporary detours due to special events. Because of their impermanent nature, Mapkin does not currently support these types of tips.