Map tiles have been the norm when it comes to online maps for a very long time. MapBox aims to change that with the new MapBox GL library.
MapBox GL is a library that aims to unleash the full power of vector data by harnessing the capabilities of OpenGL. OpenGL is an API for rendering vector graphics using the GPU. What this means is that instead of map tiles being served on the web map, vector graphics will be rendered client side by making good use of the device hardware.
The implications are tremendous; by reducing the reliance on the server, very complex and fluid maps can be generated on the device itself. The data can be played around with and everything is dynamic.
MapBox GL has support for web-based applications as well as native applications on IOS, OS X and Linux, thus being good news for web and platform developers alike.
Go check out MapBox GL here: https://www.mapbox.com/mapbox-gl/