Mapquest is continuing down its new “open” path with OpenStreetMap. Previously the AOL company announced an investment in the open-source mapping community and the creation of “Mapquest Open” a parallel, crowd-sourced mapping effort in the US and UK based on the OpenStreetMap data. Now that initiative is being expanded across Europe to France, Italy, Germany and Spain:
MapQuest, a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. today announced the beta launch of four new European mapping sites built on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. The sites in France, Germany, Italy and Spain will utilize the new MapQuest brand and UI and will have data from OSM, allowing users to improve areas like streets in their neighborhoods, bike paths, parks and hiking trails. Each site will be a stand-alone offering that lives alongside the existing MapQuest sites – which are based on commercially available map data – in the four countries.
OSM was created to give local residents, the true experts of every community, the ability to improve areas of a map with information they know and care about, ultimately making a better mapping product for all users. MapQuest began working with the OSM community earlier this year when it launched the first beta site powered by open source data in the United Kingdom in July.
Here are the four new sites:
Below is what Mapquest France looks like currently and then the “open” version:
Crowd-sourced data from the Open sites can be “imported” into the more traditional Mapquest sites, which still rely on commercially available mapping data. This open strategy is very smart on multiple levels and gives Mapquest new vitality, not to mention valuable community generated content.