Google has been the leader of online mapping with Google Maps for awhile. But that could change as the people behind OpenStreetmap try to compete for the title of the most-used web map service. This has created quite a stir and the company is only 8 years old!
Like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is a digital world map, enabling users across the globe find out where they are and where they are going. OpenStreetMap is crowd-sourced – a hot trend these days in the computing world – and free. It’s also becoming more and more popular. In mid-March, OpenStreetMap boasted nearly 560,000 individual registered users, an impressive total.
OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity
Early in March, Apple swapped its mobile software from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for locations outside of the U.S. But even more recently then that, Apple cast off Google Maps for OpenStreetMap for their recently created photo management app for iOS. The moves that Apple has made toward OpenStreetMap are probably the largest indicators that it is a true competitor to Google Maps.
Other companies are making the switch as well. For instance, a popular social media service, Foursquare, made the change a few months ago. So, what is the reason that OpenStreetMap is becoming so popular? One advantage that it has over Google Maps is that it allows users to update maps based upon experience. Two heads are better then one, right? And if you look at the results that Wikipedia has had with this philosophy, it points to a bright future for the fledgling digital map company.
Google No Longer Invulnerable?
It used to be that challenging Google was an unwise decision, but things have changed recently. Google has had a few shots that it has missed lately. For instance, while Google+ exists, it is not real competition for Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. Do you think OpenStreetMap is going to exceed Google Maps in popularity? Only time will tell.