OpenStreetMap simply turned 100 million

You in all probability don’t understand it, however you’re a direct beneficiary of OpenStreetMap. You might not be a type of who has contributed the 100 million edits to the community-driven mapping venture, however in the event you’re a buyer of Apple, Fb, Uber, Amazon, or numerous different organizations, you rely upon OpenStreetMap day by day.

For instance, I principally work together with OpenStreetMap when utilizing Strava, which builds on Mapbox’s OpenStreetMap-driven information. Again in 2014 I requested if OpenStreetMap might grow to be the subsequent Linux. Quick ahead to 2021 and the variety of contributors has greater than doubled, even because the variety of organizations relying on its open mapping information has skyrocketed.

So possibly that’s a “Sure”? However challenges stay.

OpenStreetMap by the numbers

First, let’s have a look at some numbers. In mid-2020 Accenture printed a report that discovered the worth of OpenStreetMap’s information topped $1.67 billion. (That is roughly how a lot the Linux kernel was valued at again in 2008.) That’s a whole lot of mapping information accessible without cost. The rationale? So many individuals and organizations give their time and skills to it:

  • As of August 2020, OpenStreetMap noticed 4.5 million map modifications (edits/changesets) per day;
  • Since its inception in 2004, folks have contributed greater than 100 million changesets (that’s a person selecting to make use of their skills 100 million instances to enhance mapping information for all);
  • This equates to just about 1 billion options globally previously 16 years;
  • As of late December 2020, there have been 721,270,948 “methods” (a linear characteristic on the bottom, resembling a highway, wall, or river) inside OpenStreetMap’s information;
  • Roughly 50,000 contributors take part in OpenStreetMap every month; and
  • Because the begin of the venture, over 1.5 million folks have contributed.

A type of contributors, apparently (not less than, to me!) is my brother, Clark. He’s now a regulation professor, however over a decade in the past he was lively with the OpenStreetMap Basis, offering authorized help. Sure, even attorneys could be productive contributors!

OpenStreetMap is a colossal success story, one which retains strain on business mapping information suppliers like Google. (It’s price noting, nevertheless, that OpenStreetMap isn’t a Google Maps competitor. OpenStreetMap gives mapping information, not a consumer-facing mapping product.) Not solely does it drive different suppliers to maintain prices low, however it additionally places strain on others to cowl areas of the world that they could in any other case skip. And but OpenStreetMap nonetheless has loads of hurdles to beat, balanced by sturdy strengths.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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