“One of the many areas where Google is far ahead of Microsoft is mapping, with Google Maps by far the dominant map service on the Internet,” Preston Gralla reports for Computerworld. “Microsoft is employing an under-the-radar approach to fighting back, lending big support and big dollars to the open source map project OpenStreetMap. It looks as if the tactic is starting to pay off.”
“The New York Times reported recently that a variety of companies have started to defect from using Google Maps because of the high fees charged for the service, and instead have turned to getting mapping data for free from OpenStreetMap,” Gralla reports. “The mobile social media service FourSquare has jumped ship, and for iPhoto, the iOS photo management app, Apple has switched from Google to OpenStreetMap.”
Gralla reports, “Behind the scenes, spurring all this on, is Microsoft. Microsoft hired OpenStreetMap founder Steve Coast to work for Bing as Principal Architect for Bing Mobile. Coast works on both Bing and OpenStreetMap… The Times reports that Coast is working on developing open-source software that will make it simpler for developers to get data from and use OpenStreetMap. And it also reports that Microsoft has been donating “valuable map data” to OpenStreetMap. Bing also uses OpenStreetMap data for its mapping service.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We actually prefer Microsoft Bing’s “Bird’s Eye” to Google Map’s “45°” which rarely even works for the locations we’re checking out. Bing’s “Bird’s Eye” almost always does.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]