Google has been the leader of online mapping with Google Maps for awhile. But that could change as the people behind OpenStreetmap try to compete for the title of the most-used web map service. This has created quite a stir and the company is only 8 years old!

OpenStreetMap is a digital world map, which allows users to map out directions or get a clear picture of a city they are visiting. Just like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap is free and it is rapidly growing in popularity. It may prove to be a threat to Google Maps. In March it boasted nearly 560,000 individual registered users.

OpenStreetMap’s Growing Popularity

At the begging of March, Apple moved from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap for its mobile software for locations outside the United States. And more recently Apple left Google Maps behind and switched to OpenStreetMap for the creation of the photos on a new photo management app for iOS. This was probably the clearest sign that OpenStreetMap could be a true rival for Google Maps.

Also, a well liked social media service, Foursquare, moved to OpenStreetMap a few months ago. You may wonder why OpenStreetMap is growing in popularity. One reason is that its members are able to update maps based on their experience. The reader’s capability to edit and alter articles is what made Wikipedia so popular. Do you think Wikipedia would have become as popular if not for this factor?

Google No Longer Invulnerable?

It used to be that challenging Google was an unwise decision, but things have changed recently. Google has had a few shots that it has missed lately. For example, while Google+ exists, it is not real competition for Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. Do you think OpenStreetMap is going to exceed Google Maps in popularity? Only time will tell.