Google rivals unite around a free mapping tool

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Google rivals unite around a free mapping tool

The Overture Maps Foundation wants to make online map data more accessible.

Companies competing with computer giant Google have announced the creation of the Overture Maps Foundation, which aims to offer the data necessary for the construction of geographical maps online free of charge.

Alphabet and its subsidiary Google dominate the market for online maps with, among others, Google Maps. The giant also sells its services to other companies and platforms, and uses its location and navigation capabilities to bolster its other products, including online advertising.

Meta , the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, as well as Microsoft, TomTom, and Amazon Web Services are among the founding companies of this alliance. The goal: to make map data more accessible to the general public so that it can be used by anyone, the Linux Foundation said in a statement.

Google is notably absent from the list of companies to ally with for Overture, which wants to expand its membership to accelerate its progress.

The coalition hopes to publish its first games map data by mid-2023.

[Immersive tools] that blend into your physical surroundings are essential for the embodied internet of the future, Meta Maps Engineering Director Jan Erik Solem said in the statement. He was thus referring to the metaverse, a parallel universe considered by many to be the future of online technology.

“By providing open, interoperability-based map data, Overture provides the foundation for an open metaverse built by creative heads, developers, and businesses. »

— Jan Erik Solem

Map data is already at work in search tools, navigation, logistics, games, autonomous driving , and even more, emphasizes the Linux Foundation.

Overture map data will be open source, meaning that developers and developers will not only be able to use them, but also build from them, according to the Linux Foundation.

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