Google and Apple currently dominate the online maps market. They charge app developers for using their maps as a service and do not share the underlying data that powers them. This makes it difficult for other companies to build their own maps.
A new initiative by Meta, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and TomTom aims to change that. The Overture Maps Foundation is creating and maintaining open and free base map data that anyone can use to build their own maps. This will give app developers more options and make it easier for them to build maps that meet their specific needs.
The foundation has already collected 59 million points of interest, such as restaurants, landmarks, streets, and regional borders. This data is updated regularly with the help of artificial intelligence and other techniques.
The Overture Maps Foundation is a significant development in the online maps market. It is the first time that major tech companies have come together to challenge Google and Apple’s dominance. If the foundation is successful, it could make it easier for other companies to build their own maps and give consumers more choices.