OpenStreetMap vs. Google Maps

Challenging Google at anything demands confidence. The folks behind OpenStreetMap seem to have that quality in abundance. Maybe that’s why there are rumblings that the eight-year-old OpenStreetMap is set 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 rapidly 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 for 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 popular 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 are able to update maps based on their knowledge. The reader’s capability to edit and adjust articles is what made Wikipedia so popular. Do you think Wikipedia would have become as popular if not for this aspect?

Google No Longer Invulnerable?

For a while it seemed unlikely that any company would challenge Google. Yet, they have had a couple less successful ventures lately. Google+ is a good example of this. Even though many people are on Google’s social media site, it does not hold a candle to the activity that resounds on Facebook or Twitter. We shall see if the reputation of OpenStreetMap will continue to grow. It may surpass Google Maps as the most frequently used digital map service.


About tsgnetworks

TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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