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09 March 2012, 16:40

OSMF: Apple is using OpenStreetMap maps

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OpenStreetMap Foundation logo
Source: OSMF
The OpenStreetMap Foundation blog welcomed Apple to the list of existing users of its crowdsourced, open source map data. Apple has, so far, said nothing about apparently using the OSM map data for areas outside the US in the desktop version of iPhoto.

OSM project members have examined the Apple maps though, using various tools, and are utterly convinced that the Apple map data is based on an April 2010 OSM map data set, re-rendered in Apple's own "rustic" map look. The Foundation is pleased to see another prominent map user has switched to using its data; recently Foursquare started, albeit indirectly, using OSM data.

One issue though is that there is no credit for the use of the data which is provided under a CC-BY-SA licence that requires attribution. The Foundation says "we look forward to working with Apple to get that on there". Some believe that there also is the possibility that Apple are inadvertently using the map data, either through it having been used by one of the mapping companies Apple has acquired in recent years, or by a third party misrepresenting the source of data it has been selling.


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