Microsoft, Meta, Amazon and TomTom oppose to counter Google Maps

To counter one of Google’s most powerful mapping tools, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon Web Services and even TomTom have created an alliance to make data freely available.

Competitors of tech giant Google on Thursday announced the creation of the Overture Maps Foundation, which aims to make the data needed to build online maps freely available.

Alphabet and its Google subsidiary dominate the online map market with Google Maps, selling its services to other companies or platforms and using its location and navigation capabilities to bolster its other products, including online advertising.

Meta (Facebook, Instagram,…), Microsoft, TomTom, and Amazon Web Services are among the founding members of this alliance. The goal: to make map data more available to the general public so that they can be used through a declaration by the Linux Foundation, in a press release.

“Mapping the physical environment and of every community around the world, even as they grow and change, is such a complex challenge that no single organization can manage it alone,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director. Linux, Jim Zemlin. The tech industry “needs to come together and accomplish this for the benefit of all,” he added.

Google, the great absentee from the alliance

Google was notably absent from the list of companies to ally with for Overture, which wants to expand its membership to accelerate its progress. The coalition hopes to release its first map datasets by mid-2023.

“Immersive experiences that understand and blend into your physical surroundings are essential for the embodied internet of the future,” Meta Maps engineering director Jan Erik Solem said in the statement, referring to the statement. metaverse, a parallel universe considered by some to be the future of online technology.

Screenshot 12th arrondissement Marseille (Google Maps)
Screenshot 12th arrondissement Marseille (Google Maps) © BFMTV

“By providing open, interoperability-based map data, Overture provides the foundation for an open, integrated metaverse by creators, developers, and businesses,” he added.

Map data is already at work in tools for research, navigation, logistics, games, autonomous driving, and even more, underlines the Linux Foundation.

Overture’s map data will be “open source”, meaning that developers will not only be free to use it but also to build better on it, the Linux Foundation has announced.

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