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New Competitor for Apple Maps and Google Maps

New Competitor for Apple Maps and Google Maps
22 August 2023
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New Competitor for Apple Maps and Google Maps

Meta, Microsoft and Amazon draw attention with the data set they published to rival Apple Maps and Google Maps.

Last year, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon and TomTom teamed up to form the Overture Maps Foundation and have now made the first open source map dataset available.

Meta, Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces with mapping specialist TomTom to launch an alternative project to Apple Maps and Google Maps. These four companies set up the Overture Maps Foundation last year, aiming to produce interoperable map products. Now, as a result of this collaboration, they have revealed the first open source map dataset.

This dataset gives third-party developers the ability to do global mapping or build their own navigation products. This raises the possibility of independent developers developing products that rival Apple Maps and Google Maps.

This particular dataset contains more than 59 million points of interest, including data such as buildings, transport networks and administrative borders. According to information provided by Overture, data layers are organized in a way that allows developers to use map data in a standard, documented, and collaborative manner. Using this information, developers can create map applications or navigation-based services.

Overture's executive director, Marc Prioleau, particularly emphasized the "Places" dataset. This dataset has the potential to map everything from businesses large and small to pop-up street markets around the world. Prioleau noted that such a comprehensive open dataset had not previously been available.

Addressing the issue of timeliness in mapping, Prioleau noted that building and maintaining an up-to-date and comprehensive POI (sample point) database is a major challenge. That's why Overture plans to continue its efforts to create and maintain this database through extensive collaborations.

Today, developers have to pay to access the API of Google Maps. Similarly, Apple requires payment from developers who want to develop non-native applications. Developers who have access to Overture's dataset can develop their own applications more easily and economically. The dataset is available on Overture's website.

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