First it was Foursquare. And then Apple. Now, it’s Wikipedia’s turn to switch from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap.
Wikipedia’s decision, announced in a blog post, is likely to raise more questions about the company’s decision to charge so-called high-volume users of its Maps APIs, which formerly were free. In March, Google started charging between $4 to $10 per additional 1,000 loads to any site pulling over 25,000 daily loads.
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Previous versions of our application used Google Maps for the nearby view. This has now been replaced with OpenStreetMap – 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.
OpenStreetMap is used in both iOS and Android, thanks to the amazing Leaflet.js library. We are currently using Mapquest’s map tiles for our application, but plan on switching to our own tile servers in the near future.