Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Linux unite to defeat Google Maps

A group of tech players including Amazon, Microsoft, Meta and the Linux Foundation have decided to join forces to tackle one of Google’s biggest services: mapping.

Source: Tamas Tuzes-Katai via Unsplash

This is an alliance that could well hurt Google in the long run. The media Techcrunch we inform that several tech giants have decided to join forces to compete with the hegemony of Google Maps.

The Linux Foundation is at the center of the equation: it wants to create an interoperable and open data map data from Google Maps. Beyond the service to find a restaurant near you or a route, Google Maps is a paid and very expensive service for application developers.

Overture Maps Foundation: TomTom in the game

It is therefore most of Google’s competitors who will unite within this new Overture Maps Foundation opened by the Linux Foundation. It includes Amazon Web Services, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft (which offers Bing Maps) and even the GPS specialist TomTom. Each of these players offers its own mapping service or has data related to mapping. For example many restaurants on a page on Facebook.

With Overture Maps Foundation, they are creating a sort of common pot where each actor can share their data in the hope of creating a service that is more relevant than Google Maps. We can note the absence of Apple from this alliance. The tech giant, however, offers an increasingly relevant Apple Plan service.

And OpenStreetMap?

According to the Overture Maps Foundation, there is no competition with OpenStreetMap, whose operation is closer to a Wikipedia: Internet users can contribute to the service’s data. Overture only focuses on the data itself and does not want to create a community of users.

These are therefore two complementary solutions, and the Overture Maps Foundation wishes to offer its data to Open Street Map contributors in an open manner.

A first version in 2023

The consortium wants to release a first version of its data in the first half of 2023. The source code of the platform will be free and published with an MIT license on GitHub. App developers could then leverage this data for their services. One can imagine Uber or Huawei adopting this type of data very quickly.

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