Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Linux unite to defeat Google Maps

A group of tech players, including Amazon, Microsoft, Meta and the Linux Foundation, have decided to join forces to tackle one of Google’s biggest services: mapping.

Source: Tamas Tuzes-Katai via Unsplash

This is an alliance that may well hurt Google in the long run. The media Techcrunch informs us that several tech giants have decided to join forces to compete with the hegemony of Google Maps.

The Linux Foundation is at the center of the equation: it wants to create an interoperable and open data map data from Google Maps. In addition to the service to find a restaurant near you or a route, Google Maps is a paid and very expensive service for application developers.

Overture Maps Foundation: TomTom in the game

That is why most of Google’s competitors will unite within this new Overture Maps Foundation opened by the Linux Foundation. That includes Amazon Web Services, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft (which offers Bing Maps) and even GPS specialist TomTom. Each of these players offered their own mapping service or have data related to mapping. For example, many restaurants have a page on Facebook.

With the Overture Maps Foundation, they are creating a kind of common pot where each actor can share their data in the hope of creating a service more relevant than Google Maps. We can note the absence of Apple from this alliance. However, the tech giant offers an increasingly relevant Apple Plan service.

And OpenStreetMap?

According to the Overture Maps Foundation, there is no competition with OpenStreetMap, whose operation is closer to a Wikipedia: Internet users can contribute to the service’s data. Overture focuses only on the data itself and does not want to create a community of users.

They are therefore two complementary solutions, and the Overture Maps Foundation wants to offer its data to Open Street Map contributors in an open way.

A first version in 2023

The consortium wants to release a first version of its data in the first half of 2023. The source code for the platform will be free and distributed under an MIT license on GitHub. Application developers can then use this data for their services. One can imagine Uber or Huawei adopting this type of data very quickly.

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