Can the 'Wikipedia of Maps' Challenge Google?

Google starts charging for its maps, and an open source alternative -- with support from Microsoft -- begins to challenge Google's dominance.

December 29, 2011, 5:00 AM PST

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


OpenStreetMap is an open source wiki of maps and location data, much like Wikipedia is a wiki of information you find in an encyclopedia.

"In what seems to have been a surprise to everyone, the prices that Google asked of its heaviest Maps users apparently dwarf the revenue of at least some of those sites, which is leading to a very public move away from Google and to OpenStreetMap," writes author Christian Mims.

"Some areas, particularly in Europe, where contributing to OpenStreetMaps is something of a craze, its maps are updated more frequently than Google's maps, and contain vastly more detail."

This video (produced by itoworld.com) shows edits made to OpenStreetMap in 2008 from contributors around the world.


OSM 2008: A Year of Edits from ItoWorld

Monday, December 26, 2011 in MIT Technology Review

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The city of Siena in Italy, located on a hillside and bathed in Tuscan sunlight.

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.

September 20, 2021 - Fanis Grammenos

Smart City

The Physical Security Challenges of Smart Cities

There’s no doubt that a smart city’s network will be ultra-responsive, fast, and reliable. Can the same be said for the physical security measures needed?

September 26, 2021 - Devin Partida

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.