Wayfinding Instructions

iOS V4

In this tutorial we will show how to work with the route model returned from a directions service call. We will also show how you can utilize interaction between the route rendering on the map and textual instructions showed in another view.

In the route model there are some text properties that we will interpret as enum values, so start out by creating enums RouteContext describing whether we are outside or inside.

enum RouteContext : String
    case insideBuilding = "InsideBuilding"
    case outsideOnVenue = "OutsideOnVenue"

Create a subclass of UICollectionViewCell called RouteSegmentView

class RouteSegmentView : UITableViewCell {

Add a property called route that holds entire route model.

private var route: MPRoute?

Add a property called segment that holds the actual segment of route that this view is going to reflect.

private var segment:MPRouteSegmentPath = MPRouteSegmentPath()

Add a method called renderRouteInstructions that updates segment and route. Call the method updateViews when set.

func renderRouteInstructions(_ route:MPRoute, for segment:MPRouteSegmentPath) {
    self.route = route
    self.segment = segment

Helper Methods

We will need some helper methods to make this example work. The helper methods will be added to our RouteSegmentView class. First create a method that can get us the previous step for later comparison.

fileprivate func getPreviousStep(_ stepIndex: Int, _ legIndex: Int, _ route: MPRoute) -> MPRouteStep? {

    var previousStep: MPRouteStep?
    if stepIndex-1 < 0 {
        if segment.legIndex-1 >= 0 {
            let previousLeg = route.legs?[segment.legIndex-1] as? MPRouteLeg
            previousStep = previousLeg?.steps?.lastObject as? MPRouteStep
    } else if let leg = route.legs?[segment.legIndex] as? MPRouteLeg {
        previousStep = leg.steps?[stepIndex-1] as? MPRouteStep
    return previousStep

Create a method getOutsideInsideInstructions that can get us instructions for walking inside or out of a building. This is determined by the routeContext property of an MPRouteStep

fileprivate func getOutsideInsideInstructions(_ previousStep: MPRouteStep, _ currentStep: MPRouteStep) -> String? {
    var instructions:String?
    if let previousContext = previousStep.routeContext {
        if previousContext != currentStep.routeContext {

            let ctx = RouteContext.init(rawValue: currentStep.routeContext ?? "")

            if ctx == .insideBuilding {
                instructions = "Walk inside"
            } else if ctx == .outsideOnVenue {
                instructions = "Walk outside"

    return instructions

Create a method getElevationInstructions that can get us instructions for taking the stairs or elevator to another floor. This is determined by the highway and end_location.zLevel properties of a MPRouteStep.

fileprivate func getElevationInstructions(_ currentStep: MPRouteStep) -> String? {
    var instructions:String?
    if currentStep.start_location.zLevel.intValue != currentStep.end_location.zLevel.intValue {
        let floor = currentStep.end_location.floor_name ?? ""
        let wayType = currentStep.highway

        switch (wayType.type) {
            case .elevator, .escalator, .stairs, .travelator:
                instructions = "Take the \(wayType.typeString) to floor \(floor)"
                instructions = "Go to level \(floor)"
        return instructions

Create a method getDefaultInstructions that can get us information about the default instructions in a route step. In some cases they are html formatted, so we need to pass it through an interpreter.

fileprivate func getDefaultInstructions(_ currentStep: MPRouteStep) -> String? {
    return String(htmlEncodedString: currentStep.html_instructions)

Create a method getDistanceInstructions that can get us information about the travelling distance. This is determined by the duration property of a MPRouteLeg. The distance is returned in meters so if you require imperial units, make a conversion.

fileprivate func getDistanceInstructions(_ distance:NSNumber?) -> String {
    let feet = Int((distance?.doubleValue ?? 0) * 3.28)
    return "Continue for \(feet) feet"

Suggested Logic for Generating Meaningful Instructions

Obviously it is up to your application to present some instructions to the end user, but here a suggestion. Add a method called updateViews that will fire whenever our models change. Initialize an array of textual instructions and check for existence of a current leg.

func updateViews() {
    if let route = route, route.legs.count > 0 {
        var instructions = [String]()
        let currentLeg = route.legs[segment.legIndex]
            Add instructions for inside/outside as well as elevation instruction if applicable.
        if segment.stepIndex >= 0 {
            let currentStep = currentLeg.steps[segment.stepIndex]
            if let previousStep = getPreviousStep(segment.stepIndex, segment.legIndex, route) {
                if let outsideInsideInstructions = getOutsideInsideInstructions(previousStep, currentStep) {
            if let elevationInstructions = getElevationInstructions(currentStep) {
            if let defaultInstructions = getDefaultInstructions(currentStep) {
        self.textLabel?.text = instructions.joined(separator: "\n")
        self.textLabel?.numberOfLines = instructions.count

We need a method to parse html because the directions instructions from Google contains html.

extension String {

    init?(htmlEncodedString: String) {

        guard let data = htmlEncodedString.data(using: .utf8) else {
            return nil

        let options: [NSAttributedString.DocumentReadingOptionKey: Any] = [
            NSAttributedString.DocumentReadingOptionKey.documentType: NSAttributedString.DocumentType.html,
            NSAttributedString.DocumentReadingOptionKey.characterEncoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue

        guard let attributedString = try? NSAttributedString(data: data, options: options, documentAttributes: nil) else {
            return nil



Create the Controller That Displays Generated Textual Instructions Segment by Segment

We use a collection view to do this but you can of course use whatever view that fits your use case best.

First we will define a protocol called RouteSegmentsControllerDelegate that will be used to handle the selection of each represented route segment. The method didSelectRouteSegment will be delegating the handling of route segment selections.

protocol RouteSegmentsControllerDelegate {
    func didSelectRouteSegment(segment:MPRouteSegmentPath)

The Route Segments Controller

Create a controller class called RouteSegmentsController that inherits from UIViewController.

Add some properties to the controller

  • startingScrollingOffset We will do a side-ways scroll in the collection, so we will add a private point property to keep track of that

  • tableView the actual table view property.

  • delegate the delegate property.

class RouteSegmentsController : UIViewController {

    private var startingScrollingOffset = CGPoint.zero
    private var tableView:UITableView!
    var delegate:RouteSegmentsControllerDelegate?
     Add a `route` property to the class
    var route: MPRoute? {
        didSet {
     Add a `currentSegment` property to the class
    var currentSegment:MPRouteSegmentPath = MPRouteSegmentPath() {
        didSet {
            if oldValue.legIndex != currentSegment.legIndex {
     Implement `viewDidLoad` method, creating the horizontal collection view and assigning delegates to the collection view. Make sure that you register your own custom `RouteSegmentView` here.
    override func viewDidLoad() {
        self.tableView = UITableView.init(frame: view.frame)
        self.tableView.dataSource = self as UITableViewDataSource
        self.tableView.delegate = self as UITableViewDelegate
        self.tableView.register(RouteSegmentView.self, forCellReuseIdentifier: "TVC")
        self.tableView.bounces = true
        self.view = self.tableView
     Create a method 'updateRouteSegmentSelection' that notifies the delegate
    func updateRouteSegmentSelection(segment: MPRouteSegmentPath) {
        delegate?.didSelectRouteSegment(segment: segment)
        currentSegment = segment

The Route Segments Controller Data Source

Create an extension of RouteSegmentsController that implements UITableViewDataSource protocol.

extension RouteSegmentsController : UITableViewDataSource {
     In the `collectionView numberOfItemsInSection` method, let the item count reflect the number of legs in the current route.
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        let leg = route?.legs[section]
        return leg?.steps.count ?? 0
     In the `collectionView cellForItemAt indexPath` method, create a segment based on the index paths row (leg) index. Dequeue a cell view and update the `route` and `segment` properties accordingly.
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
        let segment = MPRouteSegmentPath(legIndex: indexPath.section, stepIndex: indexPath.row)
        let tvCell:RouteSegmentView = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: "TVC", for: indexPath) as! RouteSegmentView
        tvCell.renderRouteInstructions(route, for: segment)
        return tvCell
     In the `titleForHeaderInSection` method, return the number of legs in the current route.
    func numberOfSections(in tableView: UITableView) -> Int {
        return route?.legs.count ?? 0
     Implement the `heightForRowAtIndexPath` method.
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, heightForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGFloat {
        return 80
     Optionally implement the `titleForHeaderInSection` method.
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, titleForHeaderInSection section: Int) -> String? {
        let leg = route?.legs[section]
        let meters = leg?.distance.intValue ?? 0
        return "\(meters) meters"

Table View Delegate

Create an extension of RouteSegmentsController that implements UITableViewDelegate protocol. In method didSelectRowAtIndexPath update the current route segment.

extension RouteSegmentsController : UITableViewDelegate {
    func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, didSelectRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) {
        updateRouteSegmentSelection(segment: MPRouteSegmentPath(legIndex: indexPath.section, stepIndex: indexPath.row))

Create a Controller That Renders a Map and Utilizes Interaction Between a Route Rendered on the Map and the Selected Instructions

Start by creating a controller class AdvancedDirectionsController that inherits from UIViewController, MPMapControlDelegate and MPDirectionsRendererDelegate.

class AdvancedDirectionsController: UIViewController, MPMapControlDelegate, MPDirectionsRendererDelegate {

Setup map-related member variables for AdvancedDirectionsController:

  • A UIView map property

  • A MapsIndoors MPMapControl property

  • A MapsIndoors MPDirectionsRenderer property

  • A stepWiseRenderer property used as a step-rendering property

var map: UIView? = nil
var mapControl: MPMapControl! = nil
var renderer: MPDirectionsRenderer! = nil
var stepWiseRenderer: MPDirectionsRenderer! = nil

Setup directions related member variables for AdvancedDirectionsController:

  • A routeVC property used as a child view controller to this VC

  • A heightConstraintForRouteView property that can control the visibility of the route view

  • A directionsVisible bool that can control the visibility of the route view by affecting the height of the route view

  • A searchButton that will open a search controller to choose your destination

  • A directions which is a MPMapsIndoors direction service. This will be initialized later.

  • A destinationLocation property

  • A originLocation witch will be as our origin location.

var routeVC: RouteSegmentsController! = nil
var heightConstraintForRouteView:NSLayoutConstraint! = nil
var directionsVisible:Bool! {
    didSet {
        heightConstraintForRouteView.constant = directionsVisible ? 240 : 0
        UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.3) {
var searchButton:UIButton! = nil
let directions = MPMapsIndoors.shared.directionsService
var destinationLocation:MPLocation? {
    didSet {
        searchButton.setTitle(destinationLocation?.name, for: .normal)
var originLocation:MPLocation?

Create a setupMap method that sets up the UIView map and MapsIndoors Map Control object. To configure a mapConfig see Getting Started

fileprivate func setupMap() async {
    do {
        try await MPMapsIndoors.shared.load(apiKey: #INSERT_YOUR_API_KEY)
        mapControl = MPMapsIndoors.createMapControl(mapConfig: #INSERT_YOUR_MAPCONFIG)
    } catch {
        print("failed to load MapsIndoors")
    self.map = #INSERT_SELECTED_MAP

Create a setupSearchButton method that sets up a button that can trigger the destination location selection.

fileprivate func setupSearchButton() {
    searchButton = UIButton.init()
    searchButton.setTitle("Search Destination", for: .normal)
    searchButton.addTarget(self, action: #selector(selectDestination), for: .touchUpInside)
    searchButton.backgroundColor = .blue

Create a setupConstraints method that sets up all the layout constraints. In your projects you might do all this in a storyboard.

fileprivate func setupConstraints() {

    map.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
    map.widthAnchor.constraint(equalTo:view.widthAnchor).isActive = true
    map.topAnchor.constraint(equalTo:view.topAnchor).isActive = true

    searchButton.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
    searchButton.heightAnchor.constraint(equalToConstant: 68).isActive = true
    searchButton.widthAnchor.constraint(equalTo:view.widthAnchor).isActive = true
    searchButton.topAnchor.constraint(equalTo: map.bottomAnchor).isActive = true

    routeVC.view.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
    routeVC.view.widthAnchor.constraint(equalTo:view.widthAnchor).isActive = true
    routeVC.view.bottomAnchor.constraint(equalTo:view.bottomAnchor).isActive = true
    routeVC.view.topAnchor.constraint(equalTo:searchButton.bottomAnchor).isActive = true

    heightConstraintForRouteView = routeVC.view.heightAnchor.constraint(equalToConstant:0)
    heightConstraintForRouteView.isActive = true

Create a setupRouteNav method that instantiates RouteSegmentsController and adds it as a child view controller. Assign this controller as its delegate.

fileprivate func setupRouteNav() {
    routeVC = RouteSegmentsController.init()
    routeVC.didMove(toParentViewController: self)
    routeVC.delegate = self as RouteSegmentsControllerDelegate

Create a selectDestination method that instantiates and presents MySearchController. Assign this controller as its delegate.

@objc fileprivate func selectDestination() {
    let searchController = MySearchController.init(near: nil)
    searchController.delegate = self
    self.present(searchController, animated: true, completion: nil)

Create a setupRenderer method that instantiates MPDirectionsRenderer and adds it as a child view controller. Assign this controller as its delegate.

fileprivate func setupRenderer() {
    self.renderer = mapControl.newDirectionsRenderer()
    self.renderer.fitBounds = true
    self.renderer.pathColor = .clear
    self.renderer.delegate = self

    self.stepWiseRenderer = mapControl.newDirectionsRenderer()
    self.stepWiseRenderer.fitBounds = false

Create a setOriginLocation method that mocks a origin location by searching for a random venue in MapsIndoors.

fileprivate func setOriginLocation() {
    Task {
        let q = MPQuery()
        q.query = "venue"
        MPLocationService.sharedInstance().getLocationsUsing(q, filter: MPFilter()) { (locations, err) in
            if let loc = locations?.first {
                self.originLocation = loc
                self.mapControl.goTo(entity: loc)

In the viewDidLoad put the pieces together by calling the above methods.

override func viewDidLoad() {
    Task {
        await setupMap()

To handle the MPDirectionsRendererDelegate, use the onDirectionsRendererChangedFloor to listen to floor change:

func onDirectionsRendererChangedFloor(floorIndex: Int) {
    mapControl.select(floorIndex: floorIndex)

Create a updateDirections method that sets up a MapsIndoors directions query. Execute a query and pass the resulting route object to the renderer.

fileprivate func updateDirections() async {
    if let origin = originLocation, let destination = destinationLocation {
        let directionsQuery = MPDirectionsQuery.init(origin: origin, destination: destination)

        do {
            let route = try await directions.routingWith(query: directionsQuery)
            self.directionsVisible = true
            self.routeVC!.route = route
            self.renderer.route = route
            self.renderer.routeLegIndex = 0
            self.stepWiseRenderer.route = route
        } catch {



Map Interactions

Let's do a couple of extensions for the map interactions. First implement the RouteSegmentsControllerDelegate through an extension. In didSelectRouteSegment update the leg index for the directions renderer.

extension AdvancedDirectionsController : RouteSegmentsControllerDelegate {
    func didSelectRouteSegment(segment: MPRouteSegmentPath) {
        renderer.routeLegIndex = segment.legIndex
        renderer.fitBounds = false
        stepWiseRenderer.routeLegIndex = segment.legIndex
        stepWiseRenderer.animate(duration: 3)
        stepWiseRenderer.fitBounds = true

Implement the MySearchControllerDelegate through an extension. In didSelectLocation update the destinationLocation property.

extension AdvancedDirectionsController : MySearchControllerDelegate {
   func didSelectLocation(location: MPLocation) {
       destinationLocation = location

   func didShowLocations(locations: [MPLocation]) {

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