OpenStreetMap makes first open map of the world

OpenStreetMap
Image credits: openstreetmap.org
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Which mapping system do you use the most?

Everyone is talking about maps lately. Google maps are no longer on the iPhone. Apple maps have some serious bugs. Luckily, open source maps are making a move.
MapBox contributes to the open source project, OpenStreetMap, and just announced a $575,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. OpenStreetMap has been called a "Wikipedia-like project" that is creating the only editable map of the world (according to MapBox's blog). It was also built on open platforms, like GitHub. They plan to use the grant to help improve the core infrastructure by making it easier to add data and implementing social networking features.

MapBox is a cloud-based map publishing platform launched in 2010. They allow you to overlay your data with publicly available maps, or you can design your own (according to CrunchBase).

"It has been fantastic working with Knight Foundation over the past few months—their team really understands the value of open data. This grant is a key investment at a critical time in the geo data and web mapping space, and Knight Foundation is being smart by moving quickly and investing in much needed infrastructure in an open and sustainable way. This is our third Knight grant over the past five years, and we think the work it allows will make our biggest impact yet," said Alex Barth, leader of the MapBox data team on their blog.

OpenStreetMap and MapBox are growing rapidly. Apple recently used OpenStreetMap for location data in iPhoto for the iPhone, and MapBox is used by Foursquare and NPR.

If you're interested in keeping tabs on OpenStreetMap and MapBox, you can follow @ericg on Twitter. They plan to start delivering code in November and December.

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4 Comments

Richard Weait's picture

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is a not-for-profit, founded in the UK to own and maintain the core infrastructure of the OpenStreetMap project. You can support OpenStreetMap directly, by donating to the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

OpenStreetMap is a Free / Libre and Open Source Software project, as well as an Open Data project. You can also contribute directly to OpenStreetMap by:

  • Mapping your neighbourhood and contributing data to OSM.
  • Writing, testing or documenting code for OSM.
  • Using OSM data and code and feeding back the improvements.

Or you might contribute indirectly by writing and winning a grant, then writing some code which might eventually get adopted by the OpenStreetMap Foundation to then, finally become core infrastructure of OpenStreetMap.

I hope that they do write and contribute code that is so good that it becomes critical to OpenStreetMap. Many individual developers before them have done so. I hope that they do as well.

It is premature to call any unwritten software Core Infrastructure. Their goal is admirable. I hope that they are able to eventually attain it.

Eduardo's picture

I'll definitively create an account and contribute to enhance my neighbourhood and the place I've already knowledge about.

Keep up the great work
Eduardo

froyderton's picture
Newbie

google maps is still the best and was the fundamental.

vasilito's picture

Once you switch to OSMAND in your android device, you'll forget about Google maps. OSM is so much better for my uses, because you don't need permanent connection to use the cached maps. One can cache all the world with highest detail and and use it where google maps would choke without internet. Add to this - no google tracking and the choice is even more easy. Besides the quality is really fantastic. This summer I made extensive tests and now no looking back to google product.