Deep Dives

Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon launch open-source mapping initiative

July 26, 2023
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Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, and TomTom have jointly launched an initiative, the Overture Maps Foundation, to create interoperable map products that can compete with Google Maps and Apple Maps. Their first open map dataset has been released, which includes data on over 59 million places of interest and other geographical features. This dataset is intended for third-party developers to create their own mapping or navigation products.

Formation of Overture Maps Foundation: Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, and TomTom joined forces to form a new mapping initiative.
  • The goal is to create map products that can work together or "interoperate".
  • This foundation is designed to compete with Google Maps and Apple Maps.

  • First Open Map Dataset: The group has released its first collection of map data.
  • This dataset includes data on over 59 million places, buildings, transportation networks, and administrative boundaries.
  • Third-party developers can use this data to create their own mapping or navigation products.

  • Developer Access: The map data has been formatted to be easily used by developers.
  • Developers can access this data to build a mapping app or any service that depends on navigation.
  • The dataset is available on the Overture Maps Foundation website.

  • Potential Impact: The Overture Maps Foundation could pose a significant threat to the dominance of Google and Apple in the mapping domain.
  • The availability of this data could make it simpler and cheaper for developers to create mapping apps.
  • Currently, developers have to pay to access Google Maps' API and Apple also charges developers who are making non-native apps.
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