Linux Foundation Partners with AWS, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom to Open Map Data

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta, Microsoft and even TomTom come together within the Overture Maps Foundation. This organization, created by the Linux Foundation on December 15, 2022, clearly aims to fight against Google’s domination of mapping services. The objective is to bring together leading technology companies to combine their resources on world mapping.

Data in open data

Overture differs from OpenStreetMap by positioning itself as a data-centric cartographic project and not a community of individual map editors. The idea is to offer open, reliable, easy-to-use and interoperable cartographic data. The partners wish to share the costs of obtaining and maintaining up-to-date high-quality map data. The first datasets will be published in the first half of 2023.

“Mapping the physical environment and every community in the world, even as they grow and change, is a hugely complex challenge that no company can handle.said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, in a statement. The industry must come together to do this for the benefit of all. maps that can be used by companies.

Progressively deeper data

The organization explains that initially, basic data will be published including information on buildings, roads and the administrative configuration. The resolution, coverage and accuracy of the data will be regularly improved. New layers will be offered including more places, routes and even 3D construction data. The Overture Maps Foundation adds that it wants to simplify interoperability by developing a system that allows data sets from different entities to be linked.

The project will also seek to integrate with open cartographic data from projects such as OpenStreetMap or local urban planning services. Similarly, the partners want to integrate new map data from, for example, computer vision to create a living digital record of the physical world.

Thousands of possible applications

Map data is essential and is the basis of thousands of applications for location search and discovery, navigation, logistics discovery, mobility, autonomous driving and data visualization. The data made open data within the framework of this partnership is intended for developers who create mapping services or use geospatial data. They could be used by companies and enriched by their own care.

Google is not a member of the Overture Maps Foundation. The company has largely established itself in this area with Maps or Waze – whose teams have to be merged. In France, the IGN, which is doing a lot of work to produce a Lidar map of France, seems to be more open to possibly joining this project. Its managing director Sébastien Soriano having declared that “if the initiative respects the principles of the commons then the IGN could participate in it.” Case to follow.

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