Menlo Park, CA (PRWEB) May 20, 2010
CloudMade, the platform and tools company serving consumers, mappers, developers and advertisers around the world, has announced ‘It’s Your Map,’ a new initiative that empowers consumers to make outdated and poorly detailed maps a thing of the past. ‘It’s Your Map’ calls on communities across America to take pride and ownership in creating the most detailed, free hyperlocal map of their neighborhood and provides them with the tools to achieve this goal. In taking part, consumers can easily impart their local knowledge and receive instant gratification by seeing their contributions appear in thousands of mobile phone apps and websites all over the world.
Just as millions of Wikipedia users helped create the world’s most comprehensive encyclopedia, maps are following the same path. Major map providers are large, slow-moving organizations that still use the same archaic model as print encyclopedias, struggling to accurately represent the ever-changing world. It can take between 12-24 months for these companies to update their maps – leading to the all-too-often scenario of receiving directions to turn onto a road that no longer exists or recently became one-way. These maps also lack the details that many rely on for outdoor pursuits – such as locations of water sources, cycling paths, hiking trails, restrooms, ski runs, etc.
CloudMade takes a radically different approach by working alongside OpenStreetMap (OSM), the Wikipedia of maps that has over 250,000 users worldwide dedicated to updating and creating the most detailed free map of the world. ‘It’s Your Map’ stretches the bounds of this community by opening it up to non-technical people with user-friendly apps that enable them to become map contributors on a number of different levels.
Aspiring map makers can get involved in three different ways:
For those with little spare time – Download skobbler from http://www.cloudmade.com/itsyourmap
Skobbler is a free turn-by-turn iPhone navigation app for both drivers and pedestrians that blurs the lines between map user and map editor. While using the app, users can actively report road changes, new roads, one-way systems and blocked or missing streets to the OpenStreetMap community, which will then make the required changes to the map. Once these changes are made, they are automatically reflected in thousands of web sites and mobile applications using CloudMade, including of course the skobbler app, which will take the changes into account next time a navigation route is requested by a user.
Want to do more? Add POIs important to you – Download Mapzen POI Collector from http://www.cloudmade.com/itsyourmap
Mapzen POI Collector is a free iPhone mapping application that allows POIs to be added or edited directly to OpenStreetMap while on the go. It’s a simple five-step process to add a POI and users can choose from hundreds of categories including: shops, restaurants, gas stations, public buildings, tourist spots to POIs often missing from major maps, such as water sources, restrooms, dumpsters, chairlifts, car washes and fishing spots.
Take control of your neighborhood map – Sign Up to Mapzen OpenStreetMap Editor at http://www.cloudmade.com/itsyourmap
People who would like to get more involved can use the free, easy-to-use Mapzen OpenStreetMap editor, which makes it simple to add roads, POIs and update the map themselves. Users can add or edit many types of map features including: roads, bicycle routes, hiking trails, train lines, bus routes, hospitals, schools, museums, zoos, nature reserves, parks and beaches. Mapzen also has the ability to connect to Facebook and Twitter, so users can coordinate their mapping efforts with other users and broadcast their recent mapping conquests.
“We’re moving into an era of personalized mapping, where consumers are so frustrated with outdated maps and missing data that’s important to their interests, that they’re taking matters into their own hands,” said Nick Black, Head of Products and Co-founder of CloudMade. “Already this month, 7,017 edits were made per hour by members of the OSM community - up from 3,621 last year. By introducing ‘It’s Your Map,’ we expect this number to grow even faster as people take ownership and pride in maintaining and updating a free map of their area.”
“The crowdsourced mapping model is more cost-efficient than the current map update solutions offered by topdown mapping methods and delivers more accurate maps than you might think,” said Brady Forrest, Chair for O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 conference. “We believe community owned and updated maps have the potential to offer better, more detailed coverage than traditional maps created by governments and corporations.”
"I contribute to OSM because I like creating something that everyone can use,” said San Francisco OSM contributor, Greg Renius. “It’s a really cool feeling when you see the map edits you made somewhere and say ‘hey, I helped make that!’”
The effort to map America and the rest of the world is already well underway. Every two days, 1,000 new people join in to map their local areas and favorite locations, with many spots across America having already been mapped.
Consumers experience these community-generated maps though mobile applications and web sites using CloudMade’s maps. Some of the most popular apps on mobile devices are Ride The City - New York City (a cycling app for New York), Ubique (an augmented reality app for travelers), Trails (an app to record and retrace favorite hiking / cycling trails), WorldView (an app that lets users view web cams from across the world), Dopplr (a social media atlas for swapping travel plans), GayCities (a travel guide tailored for gay interests), to name a few. With CloudMade, any web or mobile developer can create powerful map display, search and navigation solutions. The starting point is http://developers.cloudmade.com
To find out more about how to get involved in ‘It’s Your Map’ go to http://www.cloudmade.com/itsyourmap
CloudMade powers several market leading location and map based applications from prominent mobile and web developers. Its mapping platform and tools enable thousands of developers and organizations to create innovative geo-enabled products. CloudMade was awarded ‘Best Emerging Startup’ at the Mobile Premier Awards at Mobile World Congress 2010.
The CloudMade suite of products includes: Navi Studio (a package of modular components including off-board turn-by-turn routing and navigation, forward and reverse geocoding and local search); Style Editor for creating stylized and customized maps; Data Market Place, a Turkish bazaar of geodata for subscribing to datasets; Location Based Advertising (LBA), earn revenue from highly targeted location based advertising; Mapzen, a web and mobile app that makes editing and adding Places of Interest to OpenStreetMap easy and fun. CloudMade offers comprehensive libraries for both web and mobile developers wishing to build applications on CloudMade’s mapping platform. For more information visit http://www.CloudMade.com
OpenStreetMap is an online community of over 250,000 people who are making a free map of the world. Every day in countries all around the world, people just like you are walking, cycling, driving, running and sailing the roads, trails, paths and rivers of the world, making a map for anyone to use and share. Find out more about OpenStreetMap here: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Main_Page