OpenStreetMap or OpenStreetMaps. Why is it called OpenStreetMap?

I have a simple question. I am curious why this project is called OpenStreetMap and not OpenStreetMaps? Isn’t it the case that this is a huge project with many small maps combined together? For example Google calls its project Google Maps and Bing calls its project Bing Maps. I am wondering if this was a simple grammatical error that people just decided not to fix, or if it actually was planned this way. Thanks.

The main project aim of OSM is NOT to have different maps … this is only a result that you can achieve with the main purpose:

Having a big central database with geospatial data!

This is a difference to the other commercial projects you mentioned, I think.

We’re not making lots of maps. We’re making one map, the best one ever.

Well, if the goal of the name was to be as precise as possible, our project would have to be called OpenGeographicDatabase. But that does not sound very user-friendly…

I also believe (although I haven’t be part of the project back then) that the project indeed started with very narrow ambitions. People back then probably didn’t think of vegetation mapping or 3D rendering, so calling it a “street map” made sense.

As for the singular vs. plural, the singular is justified by the fact that we have one single global “map” (= database) behind all the renderings. But of course, you could likewise find arguments for the plural, so unless we get some input from the founders here, I’m assuming it was just a random choice.

To be polite, this is WRONG!

We can produce many maps, we don’t have one map.

We have one central database of geo data, where we can make many maps from … and of course it is the best geo database :wink: