OpenStreetMap, a free crowdsourced mapping project that aims to beat Google Maps when it comes to being the preferred source for online directions, has won another huge client: Wikipedia.
The crowdsourced encyclopedia on Thursday released an all new, official app for the iPhone and updated its two-month old Android app to include OpenStreetMap data instead of Google Maps.
As Wikipedia’s parent organization the Wikimedia Foundation wrote in a blog post:
Previous versions of our application used Google Maps for the nearby view. This has now been replaced with OpenStreetMaps - an open and free source of Map Data that has been referred to as ‘Wikipedia for Maps.’ This closely aligns with our goal of making knowledge available in a free and open manner to everyone. This also means we no longer have to use proprietary Google APIs in our code, which helps it run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications.
OpenStreetMap gained a huge influx in contributors (up past half a million now) after bloggers discovered Apple had quietly begun using OpenStreetMap data in favor of Google Maps on the new iPhoto app, but without properly attributing it. Foursquare also recently switched to OpenStreetMap, with proper attribution. Google Maps this year began charging for heavy use of its previously free Google Maps API and also uses Google Maps to showcase advertising, two trends that are influencing the defections.
H/T: The Next Web.