OpenStreetMap: 'Wikipedia of Maps' Challenges Google
OpenStreetMap is exactly what its name implies—a wiki of maps and location data to which anyone can contribute, just like Wikipedia. With the help of some deep-pocketed boosters, including MapQuest and Microsoft, it’s suddenly a legitimate challenger to the hegemony of Maps.Google.Com.
Google announced two months ago that it was going to start charging the heaviest users of its Maps API, which countless sites use to geo-locate their data. Then its sales team fanned out to contact those websites, which Google publicly estimated would represent only 0.35 percent of the users of its Maps API.
In what seems to have been a surprise to everyone, the prices that Google asked of its heaviest Maps users apparently dwarf the revenue of at least some of those sites, which is leading to a very public move away from Google and to OpenStreetMap.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.