US: Telenav has announced that Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap (OSM), has joined the company to lead its crowd-sourced mapping initiatives for Scout GPS navigation services.
Telenav will initially launch OSM in Scout for Browsers (m.scout.me), the world’s first HTML5-based, voice-guided, turn by turn navigation service and become the first U.S. company to use OSM as a primary navigation source. The company plans to continue to promote and invest in the OSM community and integrate OSM into other Scout mobile and automotive services in the future.
Founded in London in 2004, OSM is a collaborative project to create a free, editable map of the world. The OSM community has doubled year over year to more than 1.3 million editors, with representation for every country around the world (196 countries). Its crowd-sourced model publishes edits every minute, resulting in maps that are often more detailed and more up to date than commercially licensed content.
Steve Coast, said: “Community-based models have dramatically transformed numerous industries already — everything from Wikipedia replacing the encyclopedia to Yelp harnessing word of mouth reviews. Today, the same kinds of people are building OSM — one block and neighborhood at a time — to make the world a better place.”
For more than three years, Telenav has been a key contributor to OSM and has worked closely with the community to enhance specific features needed for navigation. Using billions of crowd-sourced GPS data points, Telenav provides suggested corrections via MapRoulette.org, a tool created by current U.S. OSM board president and Telenav employee, Martijn van Exel. In addition, Telenav was the first to create a standardized protocol for integrating traffic information into OSM, which is a significant step in commercializing it for navigation.
The use of OSM allows Telenav to update data — such as newly-laid streets and newly-developed areas — on a regular basis rather than depending exclusively on traditional map vendors. In addition, OSM allows for greater map detail for pedestrians such as alleys, sidewalks, parks and hiking trails.
Ryan Peterson, Director of Traffic and Navigation services at Telenav, said: “People want fresh, accurate, and hyper-local content when they’re on the go, Crowd-sourced models like OSM can power personalized navigation experiences like Scout — with block-level accuracy — on a global scale.”