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Overture Maps Foundation releases first beta version of its open map dataset

The Overture Map Foundation today launched the first beta version of its global open map dataset. With this, the foundation, which has support from companies like Amazon, Esri, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom, is one step closer to launching a production-ready open dataset for developers who need geospatial data to power their applications.

Marc Prioleau, executive director of the Overture Map Foundation, said: “This beta version brings together multiple open data sources, has passed multiple validation tests, is formatted with new schemas, and has an entity reference system that allows for the attachment of other spatial data.” . “This is an important step forward for open map data by making the data available for use in applications.”

Overture was founded in 2022 and is part of the Linux Foundation. At the time, Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, noted, “Mapping the physical environment and every community in the world, even as they continue to grow and change, is a challenge too complex for any organization to handle. The industry needs to come together, Do it for the benefit of everyone.”

Now, two years later, some Overture members have begun integrating its data into their applications. Meta is using Overture data for its mapping solutions, while Microsoft is using it to increase the coverage of Bing Maps, the foundation said.

Overture’s dataset includes five base layers in beta, which include 54 million places of interest, 2.3 billion buildings, roads, footbaths and other travel infrastructure, administrative boundaries, and a contextual base layer that includes land and water data.

In a world where OpenStreetMap (OSM) has been around for so long, it’s worth asking why the industry needs a project like Overture (which actually uses OSM data as part of its dataset).

“Overture is a data-centric mapping project, not a community of individual map editors,” the project’s FAQ explains. “Overture is therefore designed to be complementary to OSM. We combine OSM with other sources to generate new open map datasets. Overture data will be available to the OpenStreetMap community under a compatible open data license. We encourage Overture members to contribute directly to OSM contributes.”

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