Online mapping has been dominated by Google Maps for some time. Nevertheless, OpenStreetMap is gaining fast. Though it is only 8 years old, it is clear that the people at OpenStreetMap are vying for the title of most-used web map service.
Just like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is a world map where users can plan directions and get street views of places they are curious about. It is becoming increasingly more popular. In March, it had almost 560,000 individual registered users.
OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity
Early in March, Apple swapped its mobile software from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for locations outside of the U.S. But even more recently then that, Apple cast off Google Maps for OpenStreetMap for their recently created photo management app for iOS. The moves that Apple has made toward OpenStreetMap are probably the largest indicators that it is a true competitor to Google Maps.
Other companies are making the switch as well. For instance, a popular social media service, Foursquare, made the change a few months ago. So, what is the reason that OpenStreetMap is becoming so popular? One advantage that it has over Google Maps is that it lets users to update maps based upon experience. Two heads are better then one, right? And if you look at the success that Wikipedia has had with this philosophy, it points to a bright future for the fledgling digital map company.
Google No Longer Invulnerable?
It used to be that challenging Google was an unwise decision, but things have changed recently. Google has had a few shots that it has missed lately. For instance, while Google+ exists, it is not real competition for Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. Do you think OpenStreetMap is going to exceed Google Maps in popularity? Only time will tell.