Microsoft, Amazon & Meta launch Overture Maps in bid to take on Google & Apple
The online maps empire is run by two companies, Google and Apple. Now, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and TomTom plan to put a dent in it.
It’s not every day you write about three companies in competition with each other joining forces. Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and mapping company TomTom have come together to launch Overture Maps. While not written, it’s clear that the four companies are aiming to take the crown off of Google and Apple’s heads.
The organization formed last year, and today its first dataset is launching to the public. Included are “Places of Interest (POIs), Buildings, Transportation Network, and Administrative Boundaries”.
Overture Maps differs to Google and Apple‘s offerings in that it’s totally open for third-party developers to access and use the data provided to build their own apps. Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta might also utilize this data in the future for their own software, but the main intention appears to be right now, is to get it into the hands of developers.
Overture Maps will allow for third-party apps to thrive
It also means that a lot more maps focused apps will be able to be made, with the dataset only requiring attribution under two licenses and no mention of cost for using the data. Google and Apple both charge fees for access to their maps API, limiting the potential for competitors.
Overture Maps’ website states that while the maps will be updated regularly, there’s no current set timeline for when the next major update will happen. However, it does include data for nearly 60 million places, including the ability for developers to replicate Google Maps’ business information within the Overture data itself.
Overture has also translated key information within the data into 40 different languages, as well as ensuring that the data when plugged into the various apps will be compatible without much extra work. The data is available to download now directly from their website.