Earlier this month, I published a post about Apple and other companies ditching Google Maps for a free open source mapping project called OpenStreetMap – to catch up on that post, please click here.
Today, Wikipedia announced that it too will be ditching Google Maps and replacing it with OpenStreetMap. This is great news for the crowdsourced mapping project which is getting better by the day and gaining more support from major companies.
In updates it released today, Wikipedia says that it is releasing an all new application for the iPhone and it’s removing Google Maps to replace it with OpenStreetMap on the Android – which to me is a perfect match. Wikipedia is a high quality free crowdsourced site and OpenStreetMap functions in the same way but for maps. It’s a match that is meant to be and the Wikimedia Foundation acknowledged this in a statement:
“Previous versions of our application used Google Maps for the nearby view. This has now been replaced with OpenStreetMaps - an open and free source of Map Data that has been referred to as ‘Wikipedia for Maps.’ This closely aligns with our goal of making knowledge available in a free and open manner to everyone. This also means we no longer have to use proprietary Google APIs in our code, which helps it run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications.”
Their motivation for moving away from Google Maps doesn’t seem to be about price though, which was the reason other companies have ditched Google Maps. They say it’s more about reaching a greater number of people and making themselves more accessible.
For more information:
The Next Web, “Wikipedia updates iOS and Android apps, ditches Google Maps…” – click here
TPM, “Wikipedia Drops Google Maps For OpenStreetMap” – click here
TechCrunch, “Wikipedia’s Mobile Apps Drop Google Maps for OpenStreetMap” – click here