Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, TomTom, Linux Foundation launched 'Overture Maps Foundation' aiming to build open source map data as a countermeasure against Google Maps

The Linux Foundation , a non-profit technology consortium, has announced the establishment of the Overture Maps Foundation, an organization that aims to build open and interoperable map data. The members of the Overture Maps Foundation include Amazon Web Services (AWS), a major cloud service, Meta, the operator of Facebook and also focusing on the metaverse, Microsoft, a major software company with an operating system at its core, and TomTom , which handles navigation and location technology. is listed, and it is also seen as a competition to Google, which establishes itself in the map market.

Linux Foundation Announces Overture Maps Foundation to Build Interoperable Open Map Data

Meta, Microsoft, AWS and TomTom launch the Overture Maps Foundation to develop interoperable open map data | TechCrunch

Creating the ultimate smart map with new map data initiative launched by Linux Foundation | VentureBeat

The Linux Foundation's official statement on the founding of the Overture Maps Foundation states, 'The mission of the Overture Maps Foundation is to create reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open data maps that enable modern and next-generation map products. It is written that Participating members combine their own resources to build map data that accurately updates as the physical world changes, and the data will be made available to all under an open data license. About.

“As the physical environment and communities around the world grow and change, mapping is a highly complex task beyond the control of any one organization,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. 'Industry must do this together for the benefit of the world.' We are pleased to facilitate this open collaboration between leading technology companies to develop.'

In modern society, map data is the foundation of many applications such as search and navigation, IoT devices, logistics, autonomous driving, and data visualization. However, Google and Apple occupy a large share of the map market at the time of writing the article, and the oligopoly of map data by a small number of companies causes licensing fee problems, which can lead to restrictions on the functions that other companies can implement. There is also sexuality.

Technology media TechCrunch points out that Google is not a founding member of the Overture Maps Foundation. 'The fact that these big companies and rivals are joining forces is proof that Google has been a dominant force in the world of maps since it launched its Android mobile operating system 15 years ago. ', suggesting that the Overture Maps Foundation has emerged as a countermeasure to Google.

According to the Linux Foundation, “Developers delivering map services today face many challenges. Multiple datasets refer to the same real-world entities with their own rules and vocabularies, making it difficult to combine them.Furthermore, map data is prone to errors and inconsistencies. Easy, open map data often lacks the necessary structure to easily build commercial map products and services,” notes the Overture Maps Foundation, which seeks to develop high-quality maps that address these concerns. Claims to provide service.

The items that the Overture Maps Foundation is working on are as follows.

・Collaborative map building: We plan to incorporate data from multiple sources, not just members, but also civil society and open data sources.
Real-World Entity Reference System: Links entities from different datasets to real-world entities to simplify interoperability.
• Quality Assurance Process: We will be able to detect map errors, corruption, and vandalism to ensure map data is safe for use in production systems.
・Structured Data Schema: A common structured data schema will be adopted to create an easy-to-use ecosystem of map data.

The Linux Foundation said, 'The project will integrate existing open map data from projects such as

OpenStreetMap and the Department of Urban Planning, with new map data built using computer vision and AI/ML techniques provided by members. , we aim to create a living digital record of the physical world.'

The founding members of the Overture Maps Foundation are AWS, Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom, but we plan to expand members and contributors in the future. The first dataset is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2023, and this release will include basic layers such as buildings, roads, and administrative information. The layers of information will grow over time to support the next generation of map products.

Michael Kopenec, general manager of AWS Geospatial, said the prohibitive cost and complexity of maintaining accurate and comprehensive map data puts it out of reach for many customers, leading to innovation. pointed out that it may interfere with 'Through the Overture Maps Foundation, we will foster industry-wide collaboration to make comprehensive, high-quality map data available to more end users.'

“Immersive experiences that understand and blend in with their physical environment are essential for the embodied internet of the future,” said Jan Erik Solem, director of map engineering at Meta. By providing map data, we will provide a foundation for building an open metaverse by creators, developers, and companies.'

On December 15, 2022, local time, the Linux Foundation also announced the establishment of the `` Open Metaverse Foundation '', which aims to build an open metaverse. 'For the Metaverse to truly thrive, much like the Internet, it needs to be an open Metaverse for everyone,' the Linux Foundation said in a statement at the time of the announcement.

Start to establish the Open Metaverse Foundation | The Linux Foundation Japan press release

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