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OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. The creation and growth of OSM has been motivated by restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world, and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices. OSM is considered a prominent example of volunteered geographic information.
Rather than the map itself, the data generated by the OpenStreetMap project are considered its primary output. The data are then available for use in both traditional applications, like its usage by Craigslist, OsmAnd, Geocaching, MapQuest Open, JMP statistical software, and Foursquare to replace Google Maps, and more unusual roles like replacing default data included with GPS receivers. OpenStreetMap data have been favourably compared with proprietary datasources, though data quality varies worldwide.
Steve Coast founded the project in 2004, initially focusing on mapping the United Kingdom. In the UK and elsewhere, government-run and tax-funded projects like the Ordnance Survey created massive datasets but failed to freely and widely distribute them. In April 2006, the OpenStreetMap Foundation was established to encourage the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and provide geospatial data for anybody to use and share. In December 2006, Yahoo! confirmed that OpenStreetMap could use its aerial photography as a backdrop for map production.
In April 2007, Automotive Navigation Data (AND) donated a complete road data set for the Netherlands and trunk road data for India and China to the project and by July 2007, when the first OSM international The State of the Map conference was held, there were 9,000 registered users. Sponsors of the event included Google, Yahoo! and Multimap. In October 2007, OpenStreetMap completed the import of a US Census TIGER road dataset. In December 2007, Oxford University became the first major organisation to use OpenStreetMap data on their main website.
- Web browser
- OsmAnd is free software for Android and iOS mobile devices that can use offline vector data from OSM. It also supports layering OSM vector data with prerendered raster map tiles from OpenStreetMap and other sources.
- GNOME Maps
- Marble is a KDE virtual globe application which received support for OpenStreetMap.
- FoxtrotGPS is a GTK+-based map viewer, that is especially suited to touch input. It is available in the SHR or Debian repositories.
- Another GTK+-based map viewer.
Nodes are points with a geographic position, stored as coordinates (pairs of a latitude and a longitude) according to WGS 84. Outside of their usage in ways, they are used to represent map features without a size, such as points of interest or mountain peaks.
Ways are ordered lists of nodes, representing a polyline, or possibly a polygon if they form a closed loop. They are used both for representing linear features such as streets and rivers, and areas, like forests, parks, parking areas and lakes.
Relations are ordered lists of nodes, ways and relations (together called "members"), where each member can optionally have a "role" (a string). Relations are used for representing the relationship of existing nodes and ways. Examples include turn restrictions on roads, routes that span several existing ways (for instance, a long-distance motorway), and areas with holes.
Tags are key-value pairs (both arbitrary strings). They are used to store metadata about the map objects (such as their type, their name and their physical properties). Tags are not free-standing, but are always attached to an object: to a node, a way or a relation. A recommended ontology of map features (the meaning of tags) is .
Apple Inc. unexpectedly created an OpenStreetMap-based map for iPhoto for iOS on 7 March 2012 , and launched the maps without properly citing the data source – though this was corrected in 1.0.1. OpenStreetMap is one of the many cited sources for Apple's custom maps in iOS 6, though the majority of map data is provided by TomTom.
Flickr uses OpenStreetMap data for various cities around the world, including Baghdad, Beijing, Kabul, Santiago, Sydney and Tokyo. In 2012, the maps switched to use Nokia data primarily, with OSM being used in areas where the commercial provider lacked performance.
MapQuest announced a service based on OpenStreetMap in 2010, which eventually became MapQuest Open.
- On 29 February 2012, Foursquare started using OpenStreetMap via MapBox's rendering and infrastructure.
Craigslist switched to OpenStreetMap in 2012, rendering their own tiles based on the data.
- In 2015, Mapworks incorporated the OSM Data set for rendering under a vector publication method. This allows basic GIS analysis capabilities to be performed at web clients supporting HTML5.
- In September 2009, Hasbro, the toy company behind the real estate-themed board game Monopoly, launched Monopoly City Streets, a massively multiplayer online game (MMORPG) which allowed players to "buy" streets all over the world. The game used map tiles from Google Maps and the Google Maps API to display the game board, but the underlying street data was obtained from OpenStreetMap. The online game was a limited time offering, its servers were shut down in the end of January 2010.
Moovit uses maps based on OpenStreetMap in their free mobile application for public transit navigation.
- uses OpenStreetMap as a locator map for cities and travel points of interest.
Dublin-based indie games developer Ballardia launched World of the Living Dead: Resurrection in October 2013, which has incorporated OpenStreetMap into its game engine, along with census information to create a browser-based game mapping over 14,000 square kilometres of greater Los Angeles and survival strategy gameplay. Its previous incarnation had used Google Maps, which had proven incapable of supporting high volumes of players, so during 2013 they shut down the Google Maps version and ported the game to OSM.
Geotab uses OpenStreetMap data in their Vehicle Tracking Software platform, MyGeotab.
Strava switched to OpenStreetMap rendered and hosted by Mapbox from Google Maps in July 2015.
Bennett, Jonathan (2010). OpenStreetMap: Be Your Own Cartographer. Packt Publishing. ISBN .
Ramm, Frederik; Topf, Jochen; Chilton, Steve (2010). OpenStreetMap: Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World. UIT Cambridge. ISBN .
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