Apple tells Google: ‘so long suckas!’
The most valuable company in the world has finally ditched Google Maps for good. Apple is no longer depending on Google to provide its iPhones and iPads mapping technology – instead the company is now using a free source to replace Google Maps.
The Google Maps API used to be available to companies free of charge, but after Google got all big and mighty it decided to charge companies for high-volume use. Apple wasn’t going to let Google gouge them anymore and is now using OpenStreetMap.
OpenStreetMap is an open source mapping project that lets users from around to world to freely edit and add to the development of the map. It’s like the Wikipedia of mapping and many people depend on it to find their way around the globe. You might also recall that OpenStreetMap was at the center of a major controversy surrounding Google recently. It was discovered that Google employees were vandalizing OpenStreetMap by changing information so that it gave people wrong directions. After the founders of OpenStreetMap saw what was happening, they wrote a blog post about it. To read more about this, click here.
Now, why would Google employees allegedly deliberately sabotage OpenStreetMap? That’s because the community supported mapping service is a huge competitor to Google and may completely take over Google soon. Big companies are already switching to this free crowdsourcing service and this will eventually result in improvements to OpenStreetMap. Wikipedia has proven to be a very useful and successful alternative to encyclopedias – OpenStreetMap will soon prove to be a useful and successful alternative to expensive Google Maps. As more companies flock away from Google, more people will become exposed to alternatives to Google Maps. As Josh Constine, a writer for TechCrunch, observed:
“This is where Google’s long-term problem emerges. OpenStreetMap, or OSM, is totally free at any volume, but if users improve its data on their own, they have to contribute those improvements back to OSM. If someone augments OSM with satellite, street view, reviews, or other mashups, everyone’s maps benefit. As more big maps users switch to it, it will get better and better, creating a snowball effect where it gets more attractive with time.”
Recently, the social networking site Foursquare also announced it was ditching Google Maps for OpenStreetMap. It is expected that more companies will soon follow this trend.
For more information:
Webmonkey, “iPhoto for iOS Abandons Google Maps in Favor of OpenStreetMap” – click here
The Register, “Apple to Google Maps: ‘Get lost’ ” – click here