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Challenge to Google Maps ?

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Just read a news item stating that Ordnance Survey, the United Kingdom's national mapping agency, is opening up some of its code to allow developers to create Google Maps-style mashups.

Looks like the project will launched as a closed beta test with a minimum volunteers and will run for around three months before the Ordnance Survey - one of the world's largest map producers--makes a final decision on releasing the code.

Ed Parsons, Chief Technical Officer said Google Maps has been good for innovation and that there is room for all models in the market. "There will always be a market for closed-source data. I think the two will co-exist," he said. "I could easily see OS making use of open-source data or providing open-source data. We are not closing our eyes. There will be the person who wants to create maps for the parish council but the utilities, for example, won't use open source data."

I read that OS' mapping data is that it is more detailed for rural areas than Google's maps but would this really have an impact ? Yes there might be space for more than one player to provide mapping capabilities to players who want to create commercial applications around this but does this offering have enough muscle to challenge the hugely popular Google Maps - don't really think so.

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