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Wikipedia joins Apple in migrating from Google Maps to OpenStreetMaps

post #1 of 42
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Apple isn't alone in its efforts to lessen its dependance upon Google Maps; Facebook, FourSquare and now Wikipedia have all started using alternatives map services ranging from Microsoft's Bing maps service to information from the OpenStreeMaps Foundation.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Wikipedia has switched from Google Maps to OpenStreetMaps in its mobile apps for iOS and Android (shown below left).

Wikipedia's move comes on the heels of a similar switch by Foursquare, which is also now using OpenStreetMaps on its own mobile website, and Microsoft's Bing maps within its its Facebook app (Facebook has partnered exclusively with Microsoft to serve Bing maps within all of its services).





At the beginning of March, Apple released its new iPhoto app with geolocation features that also used OpenStreetMaps rather than Google's information (show above, right).

In Apple's case, the move appeared to be motivated both out of an effort to distance itself from a dependance upon Google as well as a way to avoid paying new fees Google announced it would start charging large maps users this year.

Open vs Google

OpenStreetMaps shares its open philosophy with Wikipedia. Rather than cost, Wikipedia's move is more intended to leverage an "open and free source of Map Data," the report noted.

It cited the group's Yuvi Panda as stating that avoiding the use Google's proprietary Maps APIs enables Wikipedia's app to "run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications."

While Android's core software is open, Google's "with apps" bundle of proprietary apps (which account for much of the value associated with Android), including Maps Navigation, require licensing from Google. A variety of Android vendors use the free core OS but don't use Google's own apps for this reason.

Google's efforts to begin charging high volume users for its Maps services is likely to drive additional prominent websites and apps to OpenStreetMaps, a free service that requires its users to contribute back any improvements they make to the maps data.

Apple has incorporated its own support for Wikipedia information in its OS X Dictionary app and its system wide search services on both iOS and OS X. The company is likely to similarly expand its use of OpenStreetMaps data in both its iOS and OS X apps, ranging from "Find my iPhone" and "Find my Mac" to iPhoto, Maps and its online iCloud services.

Apple's voracious appetite for maps

Apple acquired the Placebase maps service in 2009 followed by Poly9 in 2010. That same year, Apple began using its own location databases for the Maps software in iOS 3.2, moving away from databases maintained by Google and Skyhook Wireless.

Last spring, Apple also said it was "collecting anonymous traffic data to build a crowd-sourced traffic database," in order to provide iPhone users with an "improved traffic service in the next couple of years."

Last October, the company acquired C3 Technologies, further enhancing its internal mapping talent pool and technology portfolio.


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post #2 of 42
I'm actually surprised Wikipedia hadn't always been using an open mapping solution instead of a proprietary one.

Now if only this stuff was vector and not hideously blown up bitmap.

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 42
I actually would enjoy such a move, if the OpenStreetMap tiles weren't butt ugly. I really hope it's a stopgap solution until a home grown vector based map is available.
post #4 of 42
so we are in favour of open source stuff now? I need to read the next ecclesiastical letter from Mr Cook.

No fan of Android here, but google is better, Bings maps are good, Open Street map is sh*te.
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post #5 of 42
It's fascinating how so many tech nerds got suckered into Google's "open" BS, especially in respect to Android. All Google is doing is finding ways to cast the widest net for people's personal info. And having Android be open source is one way to do it.

Google is not the least bit interested in 'open'. It's fantasy to compare Android to genuine open projects like Linux.

That's because Google is not in the business of making great technology. Google is in the business of selling your personal information. You are the product. Hence their non-existent customer service.

"Don't be Evil' my arse lol.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeniThings View Post

It's fascinating how so many tech nerds got suckered into Google's "open" BS, especially in respect to Android. All Google is doing is finding ways to cast the widest net for people's personal info. And having Android be open source is one way to do it.

Google is not the least bit interested in 'open'. It's fantasy to compare Android to genuine open projects like Linux.

That's because Google is not in the business of making great technology. Google is in the business of selling your personal information. You are the product. Hence their non-existent customer service.

"Don't be Evil' my arse lol.

but sometimes they do make great technology and Apple should use it until a better alternative comes available.
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post #7 of 42
Hopefully, all these attentions will improve OpenStreetMaps's data quality. But as it stands, their data is extremely lacking, both in terms of coverage and accuracy.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

but sometimes they do make great technology and Apple should use it until a better alternative comes available.

You should look at the C3 mapping technology they bought it is amazing and I would almost garuntee you that they will have there own gorgeous map apps sooner rather than later.
It takes quite a while to build a map database but where there ready I'm sure it will be with the usual apple flare.

Here is a link to a demo of c3s tech mapping oslo norway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...munh6NIQI#t=0s
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

You should look at the C3 mapping technology they bought it is amazing and I would almost garuntee you that they will have there own gorgeous map apps sooner rather than later.
It takes quite a while to build a map database but where there ready I'm sure it will be with the usual apple flare.

Here is a link to a demo of c3s tech mapping oslo norway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...munh6NIQI#t=0s

Sure, but I was arguing against OpenStreetMap as a valid alternative to Google Maps, it isn't at the moment, I hope Apple do good thuff there, I am not a fan of Open Source.
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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

so we are in favour of open source stuff now?

WebKit 4 life!
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

so we are in favour of open source stuff now? I need to read the next ecclesiastical letter from Mr Cook.

No fan of Android here, but google is better, Bings maps are good, Open Street map is sh*te.

In 2001, when Apple launched OS X, Windows was seen by many critics as better than Unix.
In 2007, when Apple launched iPhone, Flash was seen as better at serving video than HTML5.

Things change. I'd imagine the few teams of mapping experts at Apple probably know more about the potential of different mapping technology options than somebody looking at the current results of something Apple isn't even drawing any attention to yet.

Are you under the impression that the company that works so hard to perfect its UI guidelines and crank out exacting hardware designs is going to abruptly switch from Google Maps to the currently rudimentary OSM tiles?

Also, NeXT pioneered the use of open source software before Linux even existed. Apple promoted its open source WebKit before Google even had a web browser strategy. Apple isn't hypocritically "open," it just takes advantage of the best technologies available at the best prices. Google makes the same kind of decisions, but with far less success in terms of revenues or viable products.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post


Are you under the impression that the company that works so hard to perfect its UI guidelines and crank out exacting hardware designs is going to abruptly switch from Google Maps to the currently rudimentary OSM tiles?

lol.

This article is about OSM, not about Apple's supposed future technology, I am merely saying that Apple, at the moment , should not move from Google.

Its possible that Apple have some Map technology be wing, but really, who cares, they would be better serve working on the OS ( my favourite OS, as it happens). but lets be clear, the article is about OSM, if you believe that Apple should use OSM, then great. I don't, which is all I am saying.
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post #13 of 42
I badly want an Apple soul-ution for my car. So how about the 7.x screens are for a car iCenter, and when they debut that later this year they also debut the traffic program??? What do you think?
post #14 of 42
the 7 year head-start that Google has with location data is massive.

is Apple also going to create their own version of SketchUp? there are millions of 3D buildings [and trees and topo] available in Google maps and Google earth, with tens of thousands of new buildings being added every day - thanks to SketchUp.

It's incredibly easy to geolocate a site for your building, throw together anything from a massing model to a highly detailed and textured model; control how the building looks at any time of day and any time of year, with solar orientation accurate to the LONG/LAT. Nothing compares to the amount of information in Google Earth.

...and what about StreetView?
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

I badly want an Apple soul-ution for my car. So how about the 7.x screens are for a car iCenter, and when they debut that later this year they also debut the traffic program??? What do you think?

i just want Siri to control the music, phone, climate control and nav in my car. now wouldn't that be great? Siri telling me that there's a traffic jam ahead and giving me the fastest detour around, factoring in live traffic and inclement weather.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

so we are in favour of open source stuff now? I need to read the next ecclesiastical letter from Mr Cook.

No fan of Android here, but google is better, Bings maps are good, Open Street map is sh*te.


Unfortunately both Bing Maps and Google Maps now cost money to use commercially. They are certainly better services but a lot of developers/sites just aren't going to have a choice. They'll have to dump mapping or use OSM. So it's not a choice of good vs. bad -- it's a choice of something vs. nothing.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

the 7 year head-start that Google has with location data is massive.

Nothing compares to the amount of information in Google Earth.

...and what about StreetView?

Lots of folks are collecting street view data now.

Much of the satellite imagery is available if you wish to pay. Same for ariel view data. There are extensive POI databases outside of Google as well.

Many things can read KML and sketch up (,skp) format now. Importing the data not direcly generated by Google is pretty straight forward.

But I do agree...OSM tiles are pretty butt ugly. I'm surprised they didn't license navteq...perhaps Nokia won't let navteq sell Apple a license.

7 year head start is surmountable if you have both the desire and the money. Apple has the money but I dunno that they really care enough to bother.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

lol.

This article is about OSM, not about Apple's supposed future technology, I am merely saying that Apple, at the moment , should not move from Google.

Its possible that Apple have some Map technology be wing, but really, who cares, they would be better serve working on the OS ( my favourite OS, as it happens). but lets be clear, the article is about OSM, if you believe that Apple should use OSM, then great. I don't, which is all I am saying.

Apple should move away from Google maps ASAP.


Well sorry if it's not up to your standards... there's always the web. But until companies and people start using OSM and contributing to it, it will never get to the level of Google Maps. Hopefully, one of these companies will buy out MapQuest and other regional mapping companies and throw it into the mix. Maybe Microsoft will also add mapping data? You never know. But one thing is for sure. Google is going to find itself alone and unable to sustain their own mapping solution if others aren't willing to pay for it.

The bigger problem for Google is it doesn't matter if their solution is the best, if closed environments/platforms like Facebook, iOS, Four Square start using other mapping solutions, there aren't alternative ways for Google to enter those platforms and they will be locked out.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

I badly want an Apple soul-ution for my car. So how about the 7.x screens are for a car iCenter, and when they debut that later this year they also debut the traffic program??? What do you think?

I think I want an Apple Car!

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

the 7 year head-start that Google has with location data is massive.

is Apple also going to create their own version of SketchUp? there are millions of 3D buildings [and trees and topo] available in Google maps and Google earth, with tens of thousands of new buildings being added every day - thanks to SketchUp.

It's incredibly easy to geolocate a site for your building, throw together anything from a massing model to a highly detailed and textured model; control how the building looks at any time of day and any time of year, with solar orientation accurate to the LONG/LAT. Nothing compares to the amount of information in Google Earth.

...and what about StreetView?

I am going to take a wild guess that you haven't seen Apple's 3D Maps solution? The link provided is for Nokia 3D Maps aerial view of San Francisco. The Nokia 3D Maps solution is licensed from Apple (formerly C3 Technologies).

http://maps.nokia.com/34.7536264,-92...341,72,3d.day#

As you can see, a street level view is provided as well. The data is far more detailed than Google Maps.

I am convinced that the next generation iPhone will use the A5X processor, 1 GB of RAM and have 4G LTE due to the Apple Maps solution to be introduced this year.
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I think I want an Apple Car!



http://www.curatedmag.com/news/2009/...ons-ford-021c/
post #22 of 42
Quote:

Two more of that.




It's an interesting design, sure, but I'm not sure I see the "Apple" in it. An Apple-designed vehicle would need two things:

1. It would have to revolutionize something. Something about what previous vehicles had done.
2. It would have to exude sex. Just be absolutely frigging gorgeous. And I'm not necessarily talking lines, I'm saying you look at the thing and are smitten.

Here's an interesting example. Not a very revolutionary design, but its external elements are invisible when not in use. JUST like Apple's various lights and sensors and such.



And here's an example of design (sex?) via curves. Obviously beauty is subjective, but the design looks at least a little revolutionary.


Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #23 of 42
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


And here's an example of design (sex?) via curves. Obviously beauty is subjective, but the design looks at least a little revolutionary.

Reminds me of the BMW prototype that was covered in a morphable fabric.

http://www.carsx.net/bmw-gina-light/
post #24 of 42
Both the BMW and that black swoopy thingvicious, evil, sinister, screamingly ugly. Surprised you guys are searing our eyeballs with those messes of rancid testosterone.

The little Ford thing is humane. But the front is goofy.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i just want Siri to control the music, phone, climate control and nav in my car. now wouldn't that be great? Siri telling me that there's a traffic jam ahead and giving me the fastest detour around, factoring in live traffic and inclement weather.

If Siri could do that, Hal would be very proud.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I think I want an Apple Car!

Yes, but where do they put the 30-pin connector?

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post #27 of 42
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Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

The Nokia 3D Maps solution is licensed from Apple (formerly C3 Technologies).

http://maps.nokia.com/34.7536264,-92...341,72,3d.day#

As you can see, a street level view is provided as well. The data is far more detailed than Google Maps.

Thanks for that. I've just been clicking around the 3d images of London. Really jaw dropping stuff and the detail is amazing...
post #28 of 42
Openstreetmap is plain ugly. Not sure why everyone is making the shift. Google maps are far more functional and free.
post #29 of 42
This is a good opportunity for other players to start offering map services.

More competition means better map services.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

but sometimes they do make great technology and Apple should use it until a better alternative comes available.

Now there's a reasonable perspective. So much better than the Google-is-all-evil crap, which is simply uninformed bias.
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


It's an interesting design, sure, but I'm not sure I see the "Apple" in it. An Apple-designed vehicle would need two things:

1. It would have to revolutionize something. Something about what previous vehicles had done.
2. It would have to exude sex. Just be absolutely frigging gorgeous. And I'm not necessarily talking lines, I'm saying you look at the thing and are smitten.

And it would be a rounded rectangle, charged with a 30-pin connector
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

but sometimes they do make great technology and Apple should use it until a better alternative comes available.

Nope. Apple should use it until an EQUIVALENT alternative becomes available. There are enough disadvantages to working with Google that it would be worth switching even if the alternative is no better.

In fact, even if the alternative falls short in some areas, it could be worth switching - as long as the deficiencies are not significant.
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post #33 of 42
The way Apple reskinned the map for iOS iPhoto is strange. Low contrast and "nostalgic design" makes it very hard to distinguish.
The clean OpenStreetMap isn't that bad. It's pretty clear. They just need to fine tune the contrasts and make water.. eh.. blue (!) instead of mooshymooshy green.. (!?)
A map needs hard contrast to be readable in my opinion.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivemaster View Post

Openstreetmap is plain ugly. Not sure why everyone is making the shift.

Because it'll be better once the images go vector.

Quote:
Google maps are far more functional and free.

No, they're not. To both, but primarily the latter.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #35 of 42
With all the cash that Apple has, why didn't they just purchase TomTom and call it a day? It's already a great app on iOS and once Apple got their hands on it, it would only get better.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

With all the cash that Apple has, why didn't they just purchase TomTom and call it a day? It's already a great app on iOS and once Apple got their hands on it, it would only get better.

Gosh dang it, WHY DO WE STILL NOT HAVE AUTOMATIC TURN BY TURN DIRECTIONS IN IOS?!

There's just NO excuse at this point. We have Siri, with whom we can converse mid-route if we want to change where we're going. Siri, who would read us our directions and be able to tell us, "hey, there's an accident on the route I originally specified; I'm just going to reroute you around it, 'kay?"

Apple. Three mapping companies. Spoken turn-by-turn. iOS 6. Make it happen.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #37 of 42
I believe the common assumption is that iOS6 will bring feature parity with Android. If it doesn't, I'm pretty sure there's going to be hell to pay, not to mention defections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Gosh dang it, WHY DO WE STILL NOT HAVE AUTOMATIC TURN BY TURN DIRECTIONS IN IOS?!

There's just NO excuse at this point. We have Siri, with whom we can converse mid-route if we want to change where we're going. Siri, who would read us our directions and be able to tell us, "hey, there's an accident on the route I originally specified; I'm just going to reroute you around it, 'kay?"

Apple. Three mapping companies. Spoken turn-by-turn. iOS 6. Make it happen.
post #38 of 42
Why hasn't Apple added GPS functionality to the iPad?
I am surprised no one seems to be talking about how awesome it would be if you could have a GPS sensor in the iPad, and a maps program that did not rely on a data connection, but could instead be loaded on to the iPad for when you are out in the forest/desert/ranch/etc. The ipad would be the best GPS device around
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

I believe the common assumption is that iOS6 will bring feature parity with Android. If it doesn't, I'm pretty sure there's going to be hell to pay, not to mention defections.

Oh, there won't be. Defections, that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farjamed View Post

Why hasn't Apple added GPS functionality to the iPad?

They have.

Quote:
a maps program that did not rely on a data connection

That's gigabytes of data. I don't see it happening.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



First thing that came to my mind:
Batmobile

... at night.

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... at night.

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