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Foursquare starts using OpenStreetMap data on the desktop

updated 07:20 pm EST, Wed February 29, 2012

Foursquare customizes OpenStreetMap

Foursquare on Wednesday detailed a major change in map sources on the desktop. It now taps OpenStreetMap's crowd-sourced data to generate the maps, letting it get continually updated geographical info without depending solely on an outside provider or paying for a map license. Its version is customized to match the Foursquare look, with MapBox's help, and lets them use Leaflet's JavaScript platform to run the maps.

The changes came after Google started changing the pricing for companies to use the Maps API, possibly making it less practical to use. Deeper changes would also be possible, Foursquare hinted. Mobile apps are still using the underlying map framework of each platform, whether Google Maps on Android and iOS or Microsoft's own Bing on Windows Phone.

OpenStreetMap is already used by a number of free or low-cost GPS apps and, on iOS, can serve as a way of getting free turn-by-turn navigation that Android includes with Google Maps Navigation. It has only seldomly seen mainstream adoption, and the Foursquare deal is a significant coup for the community-driven service.

by MacNN Staff



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