A group of tech giants, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta, have launched a new initiative to challenge the dominance of Google Maps and Apple Maps in the mapping industry.
The group, called the Overture Maps Foundation, has released its first open map dataset, which includes over 59 million points of interest, along with data on buildings, transportation networks, and administrative boundaries. The data is available for free to third-party developers, who can use it to create their own mapping or navigation products.
The Overture Maps Foundation is hoping to create a more open and interoperable mapping ecosystem, which would allow developers to build maps that are more tailored to their specific needs. The group is also hoping to reduce the reliance on Google Maps and Apple Maps, which have been criticized for their closed and proprietary nature.
"We believe that open maps are essential for a healthy and competitive mapping ecosystem," said Marc Prioleau, executive director of the Overture Maps Foundation. "By making our data available for free, we hope to encourage more developers to build innovative mapping products that can benefit everyone."
The launch of Overture Maps is the latest in a series of efforts by tech giants to challenge Google's dominance in the mapping industry. In recent years, Microsoft has also launched its own mapping platform, called Bing Maps, and Apple has begun to open up its Maps API to third-party developers.
It remains to be seen whether Overture Maps will be able to make a significant dent in Google's market share. However, the initiative has the potential to shake up the mapping industry and give developers more options when it comes to building mapping and navigation products.
The Overture Maps Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating a more open and interoperable mapping ecosystem. The foundation is funded by Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, and TomTom.
The Overture Maps Foundation's mission is to: