OpenStreetMap has been widely praised for having the largest free-to-use, fully editable map of city streets, considered more up-to-date than others. The project started in 2004 with Steve Coast, focusing on mapping the United Kingdom. In 2006, the map of London was thought to be a road by Directions Mag which quickly expanded globally. As of December 2006, Yahoo! has given OpenStreetMap permission to use the excerpts from their aerial photography for map production.
In 2007, the world’s top navigation providers donated data sets to the project’s creators. By 2007 – when the first OSM international, The State of the Map conference, was held – there were 9000 registered users. Hosts for this event included Google, Yahoo!, and Multimap. OpenStreetMap completed importing US Census TIGER road data in December of that year.
OpenStreetMap has continued to grow by providing users with tools to export its data onto GPS devices and replace outdated maps. Cloudmade has established itself as a lightweight alternative to Google Maps. In March, the company gained €2.4 million in funding and has improved its mobile maps for 65+ languages.
OpenStreetMap alters the landscape of maps with its growing ways to support migrations of data. GPS units are replacing out-of-date maps with their new tools by partnering with OpenStreetMap. Also achievable through open data is commercial mapping with Bing’s permission for satellite data used in 2011.
Did you know about OpenStreetMap?
The introduction of Google Maps price led several prominent websites to switch to OpenStreetMap and other competitors. For example, Apple famously ended a contract with Google and launched its mapping platform using TomTom and OpenStreetMap data.
You may also be interested in the following OpenStreetMap applications found here on this driving directions website: