Whatever your opinion of Alphabet and Google, it is hard to deny that Google Maps is an outstanding app and an excellent resource. Despite other mapping apps being available, Google’s remains the dominant monopoly service. However, a bunch of Big Tech companies are now turning to Linux in an effort to compete with Google Maps.
The Linux Foundation this week announced a new project that will combine datasets from various map projects to create a true rival to Google Maps. Joining the effort are Big Tech companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Meta, and GPS giant TomTom.
The resulting collaboration is known as the Overture Maps Foundation. It serves as an open source program that collects map data from multiple sources.
“Overture map data will evolve over time. Initially, we’ll release basic layers including building, road, and administrative information. To support next-generation map products, Overture will steadily improve the coverage, resolution and accuracy of existing data, as well as introduce new layers such as places, routing or 3D building data.”
Using this global data will allow the companies to build maps that are up-to-date. As this is a Linux Foundation project, Overture Maps Foundation data will be available as open source to developers.
In the release, Linux Foundation’s Executive Director Jim Zemlin says “Mapping the physical environment and every community in the world, even as they grow and change, is a massively complex challenge that no one organization can manage.”
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