Overturemaps.org - big-businesses OSMF alternative

You have a rather optimistic world view :-).

If I’m offering a questionable product I’m aware of the danger of better quality replacements, so naturally I lock my customers in to my data formats and APIs and create an ecosystem in which the, perceived, cost of migrating outweighs any benefits that can be expected.

And that works in commercial environments in which your competitors are loudly banging their drums about how much better they are, in our scenario the competitor is not even viewed as a market participant and is completely silent.


Dang, sir. Thank you. Like I said, you are very clever. Perhaps I am optimistic. Though your explanation of deliberate obfuscation seems bang-on.

Worst case, you need to invest to keep your market share by improving the quality of your product. Usually not a huge problem, since you can acquire one of your hapless competitors.

I don’t see Openstreetmap as a competitor to Overture - It has much less PoIs, but they are of better quality. Still, there is the mammoth with just as much PoIs and better quality - My guess, that is seen as the competitor by Overture.


For clarity and to allow the topic to be readable, replies related with the July dump have been merged with the existing topic here:


Someone asked elsewhere what Overture is and I wanted to link OSM Wiki page. I discovered that it does not exists.

I created stub at Overture - OpenStreetMap Wiki - editing/review/improving/expanding is welcome.


My interest in OSM is because it is the only global map with non-trivial coverage of infrastructure: Railways, power lines, power stations, gas pipelines, underwater Internet cables. Is that under any threat by OM or any other party? AFAIK, no.

When I need a map for mundane things like pizza shops near me, i.e.: something like Google Maps, I simply use Google Maps. It is fine if OSM also has this data, but OSM is not about this. OSM is for “niche” things that made-for-masses commercial maps leave out.

“Lack of POIs in OSM” is a bit misleading. As @Ferrocarriles_de_México wrote for pure commercial info (and navigation) I go to Google Maps. Everything else I check in OSM. Eg. when I go somewhere as a tourist I carefully browse area in OSM. Here are more and more interesting data than in other services. Especially GM where things are drowned in commercial c*p - more and more of that lately. Apart from navigation GM are becoming unusable :frowning:

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New podcast out discussing Overture Maps and the relationship to OSM:

Makes a lot of sense what they do, instead of everyone having to “normalize” the buildings and street dataset they do it once

And by including other data sources you can get a more complete map product

OSM still seen as super valuable, e.g., validated building outlines and the street data is still 100% OSM. Will be interesting to see if they pick up the POI data at any point, as the current dump from Microsoft and Meta is severely lacking to say the least…


It needs to be pointed out that if the OMF founders were actually doing this for the good of humanity, they could have simply open sourced their validation tool chains and financed the OSMF running them.

But they didn’t.


In the FAQ, there’s a clear promise regarding this.

Will Overture release open source code?

Overture will develop open source code to help developers process and effectively use Overture map data and the global entity reference system. Code will be available on GitHub.
( via https://overturemaps.org/resources/faq )

To point out the obvious: the text in question (which I was aware of), doesn’t actually make any promises wrt any stage of their pipeline -before- their data distribution, just on the topic of tools for using their data once distributed.

PS: worse: the text implies that they want to replace existing OSM tool chains (which the LF already has a history of promoting).


Frankly from the consumer point of view, if they release the data and tools for its manipulation for free that’s all what is needed. Anything else would be nice, but not essential and therefore most likely not worth the time and money.

The idea of hiring OSMF to do anything is very comical in my head. I would not give OSMF even a task to buy me coffee. Two weeks later there will already be a sub-committee of a committee of a working group that will be discussing if minutes from meeting should be typed in Google Docs or some open source solution that except the creators no one is using.

Eh… the amount of coping in this thread is unbearable.


You have an account from 2009, don’t you remember that both iD and osm.org redesign were funded externally?

You seem to be very happy with the OSMF providing a platform for you to rubbish the OSMF.


I guess that it works fine if you are trusting Facebook and Amazon and Overture in general to develop exactly what you need and keep it maintained as long as you need.

And either someone is fine with depending on them or trusts Overture to be independent from major tech companies with own goals.

Otherwise open source is quite useful.


It’s a valid criticism. That’s all.

Also you people had a chance to work with industry together, but you said no leave us alone. So they went and built what they needed. And now you are angry and complain that they should be working with us. Like come on you have make up your mind.


Can you be less cryptic when you post stuff like this? Vague complaints like this are not really useful.

It may refer to one of failed, misguided and going nowhere NFT-grade attempts, that were rejected/ignored for entirely valid reasons. It may refer to actual missed opportunity.


You seem to have taken Facebooks bait with the sinker (you might need to declare your affiliations btw).

Yes Facebook got pushback on dumping nonsense in to OSM and then expecting volunteers to clean up after them without even a token public “thank you” and trying to grab control of the project.

But to my knowledge (which goes quite far) there were never ever any advances by FB to cooperate on providing any of the things the OMF claims to be doing.


That’s not really a very good counter to Mashin’s criticism. Just look at how long it took from initial idea to finally setting this platform up! I’m glad we have it but it took way too long, proving the point that OSM/OSMF is slow and beuracratic therefore creating lots of space for others like Overture.