Google Maps vs. OpenStreetMap

Online mapping has been dominated by Google Maps for some time. Nonetheless, OpenStreetMap is gaining fast. Though it is only 8 years old, it is apparent that the people at OpenStreetMap are competing for the title of most-used web map service.

Just like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is a world map where users can plan directions and obtain street views of places they are curious about. It is becoming increasingly more popular. In March, it had almost 560,000 individual registered users.

OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity

Early in March, Apple swapped its mobile software from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for locations outside of the U.S. But more recently then that, Apple cast off Google Maps for OpenStreetMap for their recently created photo management app for iOS. The moves that Apple has made toward OpenStreetMap are probably the largest indicators that it is a true rival to Google Maps.

Also, a popular social media service, Foursquare, moved to OpenStreetMap a few months ago. You may contemplate why OpenStreetMap is growing in popularity. One reason is that its members can update maps based on their knowledge. The reader’s capability to edit and adjust articles is what made Wikipedia so popular. Do you think Wikipedia would have become as popular if not for this factor?

Google No Longer Invulnerable?

It used to be that challenging Google was an unwise decision, but things have changed recently. Google has had a few shots that it has missed lately. For example, while Google+ exists, it is not real competition for Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. Do you think OpenStreetMap is going to surpass Google Maps in popularity? Only time will tell.