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Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta team up to challenge Google Maps and Apple Maps
- Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, and TomTom have created an organization called the Overture Maps Foundation.
- The group has launched an initiative to take on Google Maps and Apple Maps.
- Overture’s open-source mapping project will make it easier for third-party devs to challenge Google’s and Apple’s products.
When it comes to mapping and navigation, Google Maps and Apple Maps sit pretty on top of the rest of the industry. But their position on top of the hill could be in jeopardy soon, or at least that’s what Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, and TomTom are hoping for.
Last year, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, and the mapping company TomTom joined forces to create an organization called the Overture Maps Foundation. The group aims to make interoperable map products third-party developers can use to create their own global mapping and navigation products. It plans on accomplishing this feat by open-sourcing its project.
According to The Verge, Overture has just released its first open map dataset. This information should help make it possible for third-party devs to create mapping and navigation apps that can realistically challenge what Google and Apple have to offer.
The released data is said to contain over 59 million places of interest (POI). It also includes data on buildings, transportation networks, and administrative boundaries.
Overture’s open-source dataset will make it easier for third-party devs to take on Google Maps and Apple Maps, and it will also make developing apps cheaper. As of now, developers have to pay Google to access Google Maps’s API. As for Apple, the company charges developers for access to its API if they’re building a non-native app.
“The Places dataset, in particular, represents a major, previously unavailable open dataset, with the potential to map everything from new businesses big and small to pop-up street markets located anywhere in the world,” Overture’s executive director told the outlet. “Overture plans to build a broad collaboration that can build and maintain an up-to-date, comprehensive database of POIs.”
Overture says that it plans to release open map data on a regular cadence. However, it has not yet set an established date for its releases.