Crowdsourcing Takes on Google

The latest triumph for open-source/crowd-sourced content is Open Street Map.  According to Tech Crunch, more and more sites and services are switching from Google Maps to Open Street Map:

Apple switched away from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap when it launched iPhoto for iOS. Foursquare, too, announced a similar switch just a few weeks ago and today, Wikipedia switched to OpenStreetMap in the latest versions of its iOS and Android apps. . . .

For Wikipedia, however, this switch is actually more about using an “open and free source of Map Data” than about money. Wikipedia’s Yuvi Panda also argues that not using Google’s proprietary APIs in the code “helps it run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications.”

For the time being, the Wikipedia apps are using MapQuest’s tile servers to render the OpenStreetMap data, but Wikipedia’s parent organization Wikimedia plans to switch to its own tile servers soon.

The full story is here.