Nevermind Apple’s maps misfire, the free, volunteer-made OpenStreetMap may end up reigning supreme anyway, as companies increasingly choose it for map data over Google. But as the project grows, it’s becoming harder and harder for its members to agree on what direction to go in next. Part 2 of a 3-part series. Read part 1 here.
“There is literally not a mapping company in the world that doesn’t use OpenStreetMap in some capacity,” Steve Coast, founder of the free, crowdsourced world map, in his keynote address to some 224 passionate geography junkies at the second annual State of the Map USA conference in Portland, Oregon, on October 13.
Already, in the last year alone, some of the biggest names in the tech sector have switched from Google Maps — which began charging for heavy use of its data in January 2012 — to OpenStreetMap (OSM) to power their map apps or websites.
Phi Beta Iota: We have reached the end of the road for top-down remote sensing. Between the emergence of low-cost drones and multi-sensor packages at the hand-held level, and the sheer mass of individuals armed with access to broadband, bottom-up information creation is now substantially superior in agility and relevance to top-down anything. It is no longer possible to use the law and force to lock knowledge up. Now the power lies with those that are agile and add value in the context of the whole.