Linux Foundation Announces Overture Maps Foundation to Build Interoperable Open Map Data

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  December 27, 2022  / 
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Linux Foundation, ,the open-source enabler, and global supporter announced in a blog, the formation of the Overture Maps Foundation to power current and next-generation map products by creating reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data. Overture Maps Foundation will facilitate mapping service providers with interoperable open map data as a shared asset. It is a collaborative effort founded by Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom.

The members of the foundation will provide open map data that is accurate, reliable, and updated with the changes in the physical world. Companies are able to contribute data to this interoperable map, which enables scalability and accuracy.

The overture mapping data will be available to everyone under an open-source license enabling a network of communities that create services on top of Overture data for greater innovation.

“Mapping the physical environment and every community in the world, even as they grow and change is a massively complex challenge that no one organization can manage. Industry needs to come together to do this for the benefit of all,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation. “We are excited to facilitate this open collaboration among leading technology companies to develop high quality, open map data that will enable untold innovations for the benefit of people, companies, and communities.”

In today’s world, map data is the foundation of thousands of applications, including local search and discovery, navigation and routing, logistics, mobility, autonomous driving, and data visualization. With map services, augmented reality applications will combine the digital and physical worlds for rich social, gaming, educational, and productivity experiences.

Overture, along with other contributors, aim to deliver:

Collaborative Map Building : Overture aims to incorporate data from multiple sources including Overture Members, civic organizations, and open data sources.

Global Entity Reference System : Overture will simplify interoperability with a system that links entities from different data sets to the same real-world entities.

Quality Assurance Processes : Overture data will undergo validation to detect map errors, breakage, and vandalism to help ensure that map data can be used in production systems.

Structured Data Schema : Overture will define and drive the adoption of a common, structured, and documented data schema to create an easy-to-use ecosystem of map data.

The availability of open map data empowers developers and map creators to build new compelling applications. The project will seek to integrate with existing open map data from projects such as OpenStreetMap and city planning departments, along with new map data contributed by members and built using computer vision and AI/ML techniques to create a living digital record of the physical world.

The first datasets of the Overture are expected to be released in the first half of 2023, as per the Linux Foundation Blog. The first release will include basic elements like buildings, roads, and administrative information. Overture has planned to improve the coverage, resolution, and accuracy of existing data, as well as introduce new layers such as places, routing, or 3D building data.

Source: The Linux Foundation

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