For navigation on the smartphone or as a map app, most people certainly use Google Maps or Apple Maps. But now we are apparently facing a new competitor, which is being developed by well-known technology companies – they promise next-generation map products as a Google Maps alternative.
Google Maps Alternative: Overture Founded
The Linux Foundation has announced plans for an interoperable, open map data app the Overture Maps Foundation. What sounds a bit bulky and not too exciting at first, however, has a lot of potential.
Especially when you look at who is hanging around the Foundation. Namely, the founding members include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta, Microsoft and TomTom. In addition, Overture is “open to all communities with an interest in creating open map data”.
The mission is to provide current and future map products that are accurate, reliable, easy to use and interoperate with its open map data, it adds. In the process, the data should always be kept up to date and can be updated and used by anyone who wants to participate.
Theoretically, therefore, Google and Apple could also get in on the act, although this is considered rather unlikely due to their own map solutions.
This is what Overture wants to offer
In the future, map services will power augmented reality apps, connecting the digital and physical worlds to create social, gaming, educational and productive experiences, the announcement says.
Together with participants, the company plans four cornerstones. Maps are to be co-created, incorporating data from members, civic members and open data sources.
In addition, Overture is intended to make it especially easy to collaborate. Data should always go through a validation process to detect map errors, problems and vandalism, ensuring that the data can be used in production systems.
Last but not least, the data should be structured and put into a documented schema to create an easy-to-use ecosystem of map data.
So it all sounds rather theoretical at first, and more like pure data than an app of its own. The members themselves will then be able to offer it, probably as early as the first half of 2023. And a bit of competition never hurts. At least if it’s well done.