Knight News Challenge Invests $575,000 In OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a mapping project that is like Wikipedia.  They depend on crowd-sourcing to create a giant map of the world.  OpenStreetMap is used by Apple, Foursquare, and other big tech companies.  Now the company has received their first major funding grant.  Knight News Challenge is putting $575,000 into the project as part of a stipend for employees of OSM developer MapBox to build core tools.

OSM was founded in 2004 and has been working with volunteers.  The project has been depending on membership drives and other donations.  The funding from Knight came from a grant application from MapBox to create tools for making it easier for people to add OSM maps and monitor areas of interest.  The OSM community website will be improved according to MapBox CEO Eric Gundersen.

Many OSM projects will be released on GitHub.  MapBox’s main product is a platform for publishing maps that are based on OSM and is used by Foursquare, NPR, and other companies as an alternative to Google Maps API.  “It’s not about the maps, it’s about the data,” said Gundersen in an interview with AllThingsD.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

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