Overturemaps.org - big-businesses OSMF alternative

I totally agree with that. We are long over due for some kind of centralized curation system for the more popular, clearly defined tags that most people agree on. Stalemates are bound to happen sometimes, but we shouldn’t be going out of our way to make them happen by not having actual resolution processes beyond automatically defaulting to whomever has had their account the longest or whatever.

I appreciate that and the fact that your willing to at least acknowledge where the pain points are. That said, my comment was less about my personal feelings and more about the facts as they are in reality and on the ground. I don’t deny that I’m frustrated by the dismal state of the Tiger Data in the United States. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there are no community based efforts being made here to do anything about it, at least not that I’m aware of.

At the end of the day I can both be frustrated by the current state of things and your assertion that humans commonly cooperate to review automated data and imports can still be patently false. At least it is in the United Sates and most of the rest of the world outside of Europe :man_shrugging:

I do genuinely appreciate the candor though :heart:

I 100% agree with that. The absolutism is totally toxic and does nothing to retain users. That doesn’t negate the fact that there are certain groups within the community that have their own interests and preferred ways of doing things though. There’s clearly cultural differences between the mappers in Europe and ones in the United States. That’s fine. I’m not going to claim that users in Africa or China have the exact same priorities then me as an American or what works in China will automatically transfer over to the United States. Let alone visa versa. That’s just not how things work :man_shrugging:

Sure. They have done some high quality work in some places. IMO though a lot of this discussion is or at least should be as much about identifying where the problems in the system are as it is just patting ourselves on the back for all the good we’ve done.

Look at this way, we can point to the hundreds of times that things worked perfectly that probably had nothing to do with why MAMT created OvertureMap, or we can be honest about what got us here. Which we know had something to do with poor quality data and a lack of review. OvertureMap isn’t building things like QA tools and curated tags into their system by default for nothing. It’s 100% because those are things that OpenStreetmap, including HOT, don’t currently do a good job at. This isn’t magic. Everything they are implementing in their system is probably something OpenStreetMap doesn’t currently do well.


It takes a village. What’s does that prompt when people sign up for an account say, “Focus on the content of the comment. Not the person who wrote it”? :man_shrugging:

Totally. I’m always surprised by how many private driveways and back roads Bing Maps was able to go down in the United States without them running into trouble. The fact that their cars look somewhat official probably has a lot to do with that.


To this point, here’s Microsoft talking about the work they were doing to conflate data sources with OSM back in 2017:

I don’t have any inside knowledge to know if this particular project is being used in connection with Overture, but it’s a pretty obvious need for anyone working with datasets that don’t share a common stable identifier scheme – or that lack one altogether.

Conflation has long been important for routing use cases. For one thing, you need to be able to match traffic and incident data to the road network. OpenLR is a linear referencing system that TomTom helped standardize; it later found its way into OSM-based products (including by my employer Mapbox).


You are simply showing your normal behaviour, drowning out everybody else in the discussion and trying to make the discussion about your specific grievances with the DWG and OSMF. You are currently getting a free ride here because the moderators are separate from those of other platforms in OSM space, I wouldn’t throw that away.


The greatest asset of OSM is the community. If now the OSMF puts emphasis on building it, we have nothing to worry about.


By the way… Tom Tom contacted us in Poland (I live in Lodz, where they have a big office, so it’s easy) We’re talking, we’ll see what comes of it.
One of the first topics we discussed was establishing talks with the OSMF and creating a dedicated blog or website with information about their involvement. I hope that the co-corporation machine will come back to us with some answers in early January.


Not really. I’m just giving my opinion on why I think OvertureMaps become a thing and what OpenStreetMaps can do better to retain users. I’ve been pretty debilitate to not call out specific users or incidents while doing that because turning into “specific grievances” with the DWG, OSMF, or anything/anyone else obviously wouldn’t be constructive. It seems like you’ve got that area covered pretty adequately by coming at me for no reason anyway :+1:

Kind of off topic, but you really seem to have it in for me more pretty badly lately for some reason. Kind of weird considering I don’t think we’ve ever actually had a conversation about anything. Let alone have I done anything to you to deserve the way your acting toward me. People will gossip though. I don’t expect everyone, or really anyone, on here to my best friend. Let alone do I care about whatever petty nonsense you’ve told about me behind the scenes. You taking personal swipes at me repeatedly over the past month over some petty gossip is a little ridiculous, but whatever. It’s par for the course.

Just between you and me, the comment of mine that you quoted was in reference to whomever was reporting Mikelmaron’s messages and trying to get them hidden. Since I think mass reporting random messages that are perfectly fine is stupid as someone who has had the same thing happen to them before. It had nothing to do with you, the DWG, OSMF, or anything else except the people who were reporting Mikelmaron’s messages. But be my guest and attack me for it when I was essentially taking your side. That just makes you and the platform look bad. In the meantime I’m going to continue sharing my opinion about how I think OpenStreetMap can improve as a platform regardless of if you keep coming at me. If nothing else, by being this ridiculously petty and defensive your just making OvertureMaps argument for them as to why people should use their platform instead of OpenStreetMap :man_shrugging:


That TomTom blog post about Overture is definitely worth a read to understand how they see OSM

OSM seems to be the “base map” layer, which they will enrich with their own sources on top, basic information like speed limits, one-way streets, and building entrances is not something they consider part of the “base map”

In its first iteration, Overture’s base map will include the road network and its geometry (provided by TomTom), building footprints and some basic POI information.

It’s in the speed limits, one-way streets, road restrictions, routing, ETAs, search, building entry points. It’s in services built on top of the base map.

TomTom’s proprietary map layers are things like one-way streets, speed limits, curvature, gradients, more detailed POI information and lane information.

The industry will begin to compete based on what they build on top of the base map; the big difference now is that the doors to innovation are wide open and collaborating on location tech is a whole lot easier.


My take on this is that while the OSMF website says that OpenStreetMap is “dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data” we leave gaps all over the place. Historically the gaps that have been exploited by an ecosystem of companies related to the distribution part. We’re now seeing the gaps in growth and development being exploited.

We left gaps because there were things we were unwilling to do, such as developing our own AI layers or collating layers of Openly Licenced (but not yet imported) data.

If OSM genuinely wants to “encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data” then just look at the areas where these companies won’t include data for free in the base layer and focus on providing that. As an example, TomTom have already stated that speed limit data will be a paid for dataset. We could provide our own speed limit data fully calibrated to be a drop in replacement to TomTom’s (i.e. linked to whatever stable identifiers Overture maps uses) if we wanted to. I think we should. I fear we won’t.

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LOL, Tomtom was already hawking this years ago trying to differentiate themselves from OSM. Seems as in the the span of a couple of weeks they’ve gone full circle from embracing OSM to reverting back to the proprietary model that was the dead end they where desperately trying to get out of.


If this is just a new Daylight 2 possibly combined with a Geofabrik-like translation into more “standard” formatting then I’m not too concerned.

If they want to move away from using OSM as a major input then I am concerned as it could mean the end of our use of imagery we rely on.

That’s comedy gold right there :slight_smile:

Surely TomTom’s marketing people can’t have written that with a straight face, can they?

other TomTom’s blog post :

TomTom’s CTO, Eric Bowman, on the company’s new strategy and mapping platform
Dec 14, 2022

Q: What role does TomTom play in the world of global mapmaking right now? How do we see that position evolving with this announcement?

TomTom’s CTO, Eric Bowman:

Mapmaking is a pretty hard capability to copy and as a result, there aren’t very many commercial mapmakers.

Realistically, there are only two of us [mapmaking companies] selling a map that other companies can build on. There are a couple of others that either provide services that use a map and others that build some extensions on OSM.

Our approach is quite different and not easy to copy: we have data that others do not, and we have seen this coming for some time. We have managed our operations carefully, and we have created a very healthy relationship with OSM. OSM plays an important role, but we are taking a different approach than just “building atop OSM.”

Our map uses OSM as its creators intended and we use data and computation to build a map and operate a platform. That puts us in a unique position in the world of global mapmaking.

We are participating in the OSM community, we are thriving in automotive and through that have amassed extremely rich data to improve the commercial features of our map. We also have many years of being a great partner for the best companies in the world, whom we team up with to solve their hardest problems.

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others NEWS:

"Ars Technica": "Linux, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft want to break the Google Maps monopoly
Overture Maps Foundation wants to end the oppressive rule of the Google Maps API."

HackerNews comments: Linux, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft want to break the Google Maps monopoly | Hacker News


This comment in the Ars Technica article yesterday is pretty interesting. Not because I think it’s true or anything, but the 100+ upvotes clearly shows that right or wrong it’s how people on the “outside” view OpenStreetMap. We can sit here all day and re-affirm to each other that “the community is our greatest strength” or whatever, but there’s clearly something being lost in translating “the community” aspects of the project and what types information it accepts to the wider public. There’s also clearly a disconnect between how new users are being treated and how certain perceive them being treated. While AdamWill’s comment is probably hyperbolic, I’m sure there’s some truth behind it and that they had an extremely bad experience as a new user.

Or conversely maybe they and the 100+ people who upvoted the comment just have personal axes to grind with the DWG/OSMF :joy:


We can infer that Tomtom obviously didn’t know of and hadn’t joined OM at that point (I believe I’ve pointed out that the 1st version of the OM website I viewed had Tomtom missing). So that blog post describes Tomtoms old-new strategy :grinning:


14 posts were split to a new topic: Producing a validated OSM dataset

“I don’t deny that I’m frustrated by the dismal state of the Tiger Data in the United States. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there are no community based efforts being made here to do anything about it, at least not that I’m aware of.”

The poster’s “awareness” of “the dismal state of the Tiger Data” (sic) is itself dismal: while TIGER data do continue to be a longer-term challenge, they provide an excellent opportunity (among many) for community-building. For at least a decade, I and many others have striven to improve rail data from the TIGER import. Wiki have been written at a national- and statewide-level (at least half the states have at least SOME State/Railroads wiki, and that was starting from a flat zero), there are community-based efforts built both far and wide and rail data in the USA are MUCH better than they were 15 years ago after TIGER brought in “pretty rough” rail data.

But the poster doesn’t recognize this (or the many, many other positive things that happen in OSM, INCLUDING the building of good community — not an always-visible-to-all thing), he’s too busy throwing rocks (what @SimonPoole calls his normal behavior). When he finds someone willing to “take his bait” (do analogies to certain kinds of fishing come to mind?) his inflammatory outrage fuels his sense of, um, something, and it is impossible to appease what there wasn’t any grievance to begin with.

And not just rail, there are an infinity of ways to build community in OSM. All it takes is the spirit to do so and you’ll find someone, many others, and indeed the whole good-naturedness of the entire project itself who engender that spirit. Once in a while, you’ll find someone against the grain, though (like here). They are in the distinct minority and we know what to do as we identify them.

I have better learned not to entertain this person’s constant desire to provoke heat (never light). I suggest “going dark” with him in every sense. (Some call this “No Contact”).

Free ride, indeed.

I can follow this discussion just fine without one person’s comments, as I have learned I (and OSM) am/are far, far better off without them.


I was only talking about the roads, which if I’m remembering correctly you told me a few years ago wouldn’t be completely cleaned up until at least 2030. So whatever “dismal” information I might know about it stems from what you told me. If the dates wrong fine, but that’s on you for giving me the wrong information. Anyway, I don’t deny that “people” are striving to clean it up. There’s obviously a difference between individual mappers cleaning up bad data on their own time and cleanup being done as part of a community based, group effort. I’m sure you get the difference and know which one I was talking about.

Obviously no one here including me is denying that individuals in the United States do QA on their own time. That’s not what my comments or the discussion is about though. Otherwise, your free to point out what community based group in the United States is working to clean up the Tiger Roads and I’ll correct myself. Like I said, it’s possible there is one and I just don’t know about it. But acting like I’m lying for the sake of personal grievances or whatever is just ridiculously bad faithed.

Like I said, I’ve gone out of my way in this conversation to not point fingers at specific individuals or incidents. I definitely could if I was purely here to provoke people. In the meantime you and Simon are literally the only ones who have made this discussion personal. It’s always great how you and a couple of other people will spend all day indiscriminately dragging me through the dirt with complete
impunity while claiming I’m the one trying to provoke people, when I’m mostly minding my own business.

Whatever issues I might have with you, I’m definitely not out there in random conversations saying the community would better off without you. Yet supposedly I’m the one who’s comments are the problem here. I’d love to at least once you get even half the blowback for the toxic, harassing nonsense you say that I do on an almost constant basis for saying way less. But hey, cry bullies are going to cry bully and clearly no is going to hold you accountable for how you act :man_shrugging:


All (in general reference to the thread, not any individual in particular),

Can we please stop criticising other OSMers in this thread please, it gets us nowhere and reinforces the point why building something away from the community is sometimes a good idea.

If we can stick to the topic and what we may or may not want to do as a consequence of it, that would be much appreciated.

Thank you,