Scout Launches Worldwide With GPS Navigation Powered by OpenStreetMap.
The leader is personalized navigation, Telenav, has recently announced that its free U.S Scout for iPhone application will use the crowd-sourced and free OpenStreetMap (OSM) for all map data. OSM, known as the “Wikipedia of Maps,” offers users a more accurate and up-to-date map than what has become available through commercial maps.
The launching of OSM begins today for some Scout users and will become fully implemented for all user by the end of this week. The company plans to switch to OSM for Scout for Android in the U.S. during June. Scout’s companion website, scout.me, is already utilizing OSM.
Furthermore, Telenav has announced recently that through a rebranding of the popular skobbler GPS navigation application for iOS and Android, Scout is currently available in over 500 app stores markets with maps and navigation for almost 200 countries. Skobbler’s GPS Navigation application was the first OSM Navigation application the world. Telenav acquired Skobbler eariler in the year.
With this recent launching, Scout is supporting a growing community of global OSM editors. The OSM community has increased by double year over year to more than 1.6 million registered editors, with people mapping every country around the world, ranging from U.S. to Germany and Lesotho to North Korea.
The OSM crowd-sourced model allow edits to be published every minute, resulting in maps that are often more detailed and more up to date and than commercially available maps. Furthermore to reporting traffic or accidents, now anyone who’s utilizing Scout can send mapping feedback directly from the application to Scout OSM editors who will let the person know one the data has been reviewed and updated.
“As a mapping platform, OSM is a credible alternative to proprietary solutions, with the added advantage of instant updates, resulting in a more accurate and up-to-date map,” said Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap and Telenav’s head of OSM. “Roads change, subdivisions are built, and freeways expand so, just like all other maps, it needs updates on an ongoing basis. Today’s launch has effectively added millions of editors to the OSM global community, breathing even more life into an already exploding free and open-sourced project. Compare this to the billions of dollars that Google has spent — and will have to continue to spend — on keeping its maps updated and I think you can understand why we have switched to OSM.”
“This is a turning point for the mapping industry,” continued Coast. “The amount of effort and investment needed in order to provide high-quality, turn-by-turn navigation using OSM crowd-sourced map data cannot be understated. We expect a significant return on our investments to create a better map platform for navigation using the free OSM. It took Telenav years of OSM community engagement, advanced algorithms, technology development, and road testing to reach a point where we felt it was ready for consumers. Now that we are here, we can’t wait for the world to try Scout with OSM. As for the global community of editors, this is true validation that their enthusiasm and passion for making a free, editable map of the world has made a dramatic impact on the evolution of maps and navigation.”