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!
OpenStreetMap is a digital world map, which allows users to map out directions or get a clear picture of a city they’re visiting. Just like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is free and it is rapidly growing in popularity. It may prove to be a threat to Google Maps. In March it boasted nearly 560,000 individual registered users.
OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity
At the begging of March, Apple moved from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for its mobile software for locations outside of 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 probably the clearest indication that OpenStreetMap could be a true rival for Google Maps.
Other companies are making the switch as well. For instance, a well known social media service, Foursquare, made the change earlier this year. So, what is the reason that OpenStreetMap is becoming so popular? One appeal that it has over Google Maps is that it enables users to update maps based upon experience. Two heads are better then one, right? And if you look at the success that Wikipedia has had with this philosophy, it points to a bright future for the fledgling digital map company.
Google No Longer Invulnerable?
Taking on Google is normally an unwise decision, but the search giant has recently suffered some defeats. For example, its Google+ social media service hasn’t yet emerged as a serious competitor to either Facebook or LinkedIn. Will OpenStreetMap deal Google another defeat? That’s difficult to tell, but for now it’s clear that OpenStreetMap is making gains and growing in popularity.