Photo: AP, screenshot
Foursquare also switched from Google to OpenStreetMap last month.
But as PC World reveals today, OpenStreetMap has strong ties to another Google competitor: Microsoft.
Microsoft has contributed “big dollars” to the project, and hired OpenStreetMap founder Steve Coast as its chief Bing Maps architect in 2010. Coast still contributes to the project, and Bing has donated mapping data to it, according to the New York Times.
OpenStreetMap is an open source project, and more than half a million people have contributed data to it. That’s a bit ironic because Microsoft for many years has fought hard against open source software like Linux and Android. But Microsoft knows there’s no better way to commoditize a competitor’s business.