Open Street Map Gets Some Help From Yahoo!

Yahoo! Local team has provided Open Street Map (Radar Post) with satellite imagery. The image above shows user GPS traces on top of the Yahoo! imagery. This is a huge boon to the fledgling mapping service, especially outside the US. The US government has released a set of imagery known as TIGER (for Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system) that is used in OSM, but the same type of data is not available elsewhere in the world. Major props to Yahoo! for making this happen – perhaps one day we will OSM data showing up on Yahoo!

The community-built service will still need its users to gather street names and GPS traces, but this will speed up their mapping process greatly. Andrew Turner (EuroOSCON speaker) has some interesting commentary on the implications for OSM.

There are two other announcements this week that point towards more mainstream acceptance of OSM by GIS vendors. The first is the release of an OSM pug-in for Cadcorp, a GIS tools provider. The second is that Multimap (Radar Post), a leading LBS provider in Europe with a commercial API, is going to start funding OSM work. Presumably, this means that Multimap will add OSM to its API offering.

[Thanks for the tip Mikel]