The Rise of OpenStreetMap

Challenging Google at anything requires confidence. The folks behind OpenStreetMap have that quality in abundance. Maybe that is why there are rumblings that the eight-year-old OpenStreetMap is positioned to become the most-used map service on the net.

OpenStreetMap is a digital world map, which allows users to map out directions or get a clear picture of a city they are touring. Just like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is free and it is growing in popularity. It may turn out to be a threat to Google Maps. In March it boasted nearly 560,000 individual registered users.

OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity

Early in March, Apple switched its mobile software from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for locations outside of the U.S. But more recently then that, Apple ditched Google Maps for OpenStreetMap in their recently created photo management app for iOS. The moves that Apple has made toward OpenStreetMap are probably the largest indicators that it is a true rival to Google Maps.

Also, a well known social media service, Foursquare, moved to OpenStreetMap a few months ago. You may ask yourself why OpenStreetMap is growing in popularity. One reason is that its members can update maps based on their knowledge. The reader’s capability to edit and modify articles is what made Wikipedia so popular. Do you think Wikipedia would have become as popular if not for this element?

Google No Longer Invulnerable?

Taking on Google is usually an unwise decision, but the search giant has recently suffered some defeats. For instance, its Google+ social media service hasn’t yet emerged as a serious competitor to either Facebook or LinkedIn. Will OpenStreetMap deal Google another defeat? That’s difficult to tell, but for now it’s clear that OpenStreetMap is making gains and growing in popularity.

Posted on: 06.01.12