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24 November 2010, 11:49

OpenStreetMap founder joins Microsoft's Bing Maps team

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OpenStreetMap Logo OpenStreetMap (OSM) project founder Steve Coast has announced that he has joined Microsoft to work on its Bing Maps team. Founded in August of 2004 by Coast, OpenStreetMap is an open source project that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data.

In a post post on his blog, Coast says that he will be moving to the Seattle, Washington area to work on "maptastic things" as a Principal Architect at Bing Mobile and that Microsoft will be donating imagery to OpenStreetMap. According to Coast, Microsoft will be providing access to its "global orthorectified aerial imagery to help OpenStreetMappers make the map even better than it already is".

Bing Maps Logo The move is the first step in what Coast believes will be the first in an "awesome series of announcements from Microsoft". Coast also co-founded CloudMade, a company to provide application developers with a range of tools and APIs to create location based applications across all major web and mobile platforms. Coast resigned from CloudMade in early October. He notes that his joining Microsoft doesn't mean that Microsoft owns OpenStreetMap any more than CloudMade or MapQuest does. OSM will continue to be independent and he will continue his roles to "push the OSM cause forward".

The OpenStreetMap Project is run by the non-profit OpenStreetMap Foundation and currently has more than 300,000 registered contributors. Those interested in helping OpenStreetMap can create a new account to start contributing – more details can be found in the OpenStreetMap Beginners' guide. OSM maps are released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license.

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