Meta, Microsoft, Amazon joint maps venture shares first open dataset

Overture Maps Foundation Wednesday released its first open-source maps dataset to compete with Google Maps. Overture is a collaboration of Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom founded in 2022. Image courtesy of Overture Maps Foundation

July 26 (UPI) -- The Overture Maps Foundation, a joint venture by Meta, Microsoft and Amazon, aiming to produce maps products to compete with Google and Apple shared its first open dataset Wednesday.

The dataset released combines open source map data on over 59 million places worldwide, the group formed in 2022 along with map tech company TomTom said in a statement.

"The collaboration is based on the premise that map data needs to be a shared asset to support future applications," Overture said. "As the requirements for accuracy, recency, and attribution in maps have grown to meet user needs, the costs and complexities of collecting and maintaining global map data have grown beyond the capability of any single organization."

Overture Maps Foundation executive director Marc Prioleau said the release of the dataset "is a significant step in establishing a comprehensive, market-grade open map dataset for our constantly changing world."

This initial dataset includes over 59 million places of interest, more than 780 million unique buildings, a worldwide road network derived from the OpenStreetMap project and a global dataset of national and regional administrative boundaries translated into more than 40 languages.

"The Places dataset, in particular, represents a major, previously unavailable open dataset, with the potential to map everything from new businesses big and small to pop-up street markets located anywhere in the world," said Prioleau.

With the first dataset done, Prioleau said the ongoing challenge will be to maintain it to user expectations as it constantly changes.

Overture is seeking more members to broaden the collaboration and maintain the comprehensive mapping database.