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OpenStreetMap confirms Apple use, says it's out of spec

updated 11:55 am EST, Thu March 8, 2012

OpenStreetMap known to be used in iPhoto for iOS

Discoveries late Wednesday that Apple had dropped Google Maps data in iPhoto for iOS were reinforced Thursday after OpenStreetMap confirmed that its data was being used for the app. Information for at least non-US areas was being derived from the crowd-sourced mapping. While not said, any cosmetic changes were Apple's work, something it's allowed to do as long as it doesn't alter data.

The iPhoto implementation nonetheless showed multiple problems. At a minimum, the data was from April 2010 and nearly two years out of date. Apple's interpretation likewise didn't include the necessary attribution for using OpenStreetMap, although the OSM Foundation was confident it would have its request honored.

"We look forward to working with Apple to get that on there," it said, adding that it was "delighted" to see the maps adopted at Apple's level.

Apple still mostly uses Google Maps data, either out of legacy support or for necessary features that Apple can't supply itself, like Street View and transit directions. Its shift to OpenStreetMap is both a reduction of its dependence on Google and an attempt to punish its mobile competitor for Android.

Numerous free or cheap third-party GPS apps already use OpenStreetMap on multiple platforms. Foursquare just recently starting moving away in the web version of its service.

by MacNN Staff



  1. GreenMnM

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Those maps are really, really terrible. Inaccurate, major streets are not indicated while side streets are, they aren't straight and you can't zoom in at all. PLEASE go back to Google or some other service that is actually functional as a map.

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