Can the ‘Wikipedia of Maps’ Challenge Google?

Google starts charging for its maps, and an open source alternative — with support from Microsoft — begins to challenge Google’s dominance.

OpenStreetMap is an open source wiki of maps and location data, much like Wikipedia is a wiki of information you find in an encyclopedia.

“In what seems to have been a surprise to everyone, the prices that Google asked of its heaviest Maps users apparently dwarf the revenue of at least some of those sites, which is leading to a very public move away from Google and to OpenStreetMap,” writes author Christian Mims.

“Some areas, particularly in Europe, where contributing to OpenStreetMaps is something of a craze, its maps are updated more frequently than Google’s maps, and contain vastly more detail.”

This video (produced by itoworld.com) shows edits made to OpenStreetMap in 2008 from contributors around the world.

OSM 2008: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

OSM 2008: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld
Full Story: ‘Wikipedia of Maps’ Challenges Google
Source: MIT Technology Review, December 26, 2011

reposted from http://www.planetizen.com/node/53403 /via @stevevance