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Overture Maps Foundation : The alliance of 5 giants to compete with Google

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2 minutes

Today, developing mapping services can be a daunting task. The search for reliable, interoperable and up-to-date data often implies opting for heterogeneous sources, often difficult to find and costly. The mapping sector is currently dominated by the undisputed leader, Google Maps, which holds almost 70% of the market share. Supremacy that could soon end following the alliance of five other digital behemoths. Zoom on the ambitions of this strategic union, likely to upset the plans of Google Maps.

Data collection, Google's great strength

Omnipresent, cartographic and location data are now an integral part of many mobile applications. Mapping services, which in the future, will contribute to the emergence of augmented reality applications or even autonomous cars. Data that Google has been feeding for years.

Among them, we find GPS coordinates, different modes of transport, sensor data or navigation information. A data collection optimized by the Waze community. More than active users allowing to improve the reliability of real-time data (traffic, disruptions, controls, etc.). A competitive advantage that today makes many players want to counter Google Maps.

Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, TomTom and Linus, on the front lines

"Open, trusted, easy-to-use, interoperable map data enables developers to create new map services that leverage the combined contributions of Overture members." This is the first sentence of the press release from Linux Foundation, a non-profit consortium promoting innovation through open source Their goal: To offer an alternative to Google Maps for the benefit of asking innovators, through a smart map of the world.

An ambition made possible thanks to the creation of the Overture Maps Foundation, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation, for the moment alongside Microsoft, Meta, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and TomTom. An alliance that should expand to include more companies and government organizations.

We are excited to facilitate this open collaboration among leading technology companies to develop high quality, open map data that will enable untold innovations for the benefit of people, companies, and communities.

Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation

A community of active members that could strongly remind the Wikipedia of cartography, namely OpenStreetMap. A reference in the field, on which Overture Maps Foundation will rely. The difference is that the latter will contribute to the creation, updating and validation of cartographic data. And this by encouraging "the adoption of a common data schema, structured and documented". Data accessible in the first half of 2023, under an open-source license, which will initially include in this version information on buildings or roads.

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