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, helping users across the globe find out where they are and where they're going. OpenStreetMap is crowd-sourced – a hot trend these days in the computing world – and free. It's also becoming increasingly popular. In mid-March, OpenStreetMap boasted nearly 560,000 individual registered users, a remarkable total.
OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity
At the begging of March, Apple switched from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for its mobile software for locations outside the United States. And more recently Apple left Google Maps behind and switched to OpenStreetMap for the creation of the photos on a new photo management app for iOS. This was possibly the clearest indication that OpenStreetMap could be a true challenger for Google Maps.
Also, a popular social media service, Foursquare, moved to OpenStreetMap a few months ago. You may ask yourself why OpenStreetMap is growing in popularity. One reason is that its members can update maps based on their knowledge. The reader’s capability to edit and change articles is what made Wikipedia so popular. Do you think Wikipedia could have become as popular if not for this element?
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 example, while Google+ exists, it is not real competition for Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. Do you think OpenStreetMap is going to surpass Google Maps in popularity? Only time will tell.