Wikipedia joins a growing list of high profile organizations leaving Google Maps and moving to the open source Open Street Maps. The move comes after Google announced in March that they would begin charging Web sites that receive more than 25,000 requests per month for use of their maps.
Previous versions of our application used Google Maps for the nearby view. This has now been replaced with OpenStreetMap - an open and free source of Map Data that has been referred to as ‘Wikipedia for Maps.’ This closely aligns with our goal of making knowledge available in a free and open manner to everyone. This also means we no longer have to use proprietary Google APIs in our code, which helps it run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications.
OpenStreetMap is used in both iOS and Android, thanks to the amazing Leaflet.js library. We are currently using Mapquest’s map tiles for our application, but plan on switching to our own tile servers in the near future.
Also, via Techspot, a look at mapping economics:
In March, Google announced it would be charging high-volume users for its once gratis Google Maps service. Developer accounts which pull in fewer than 25,000 requests per month are not considered high-volume and thus have remained free. However, for accounts that exceed 25,000 views, developers must pay between $4 to $10 for every additional 1,000 views generated. For popular websites and apps that rely on Google Maps APIs, this can add up pretty quickly…
…Although some may be quick to call out Google for its decision to charge a premium, Google Maps has really been the only mapping service to offer its product to everyone without cost. Traditionally, companies like NavTeq and TeleNav have always licensed their map data to third parties. It costs a lot of money to put together accurate maps and Google took some risk offering theirs free of charge. As a result, Google Maps has become the go-to place for many companies and users alike. In fact, comScore found that over 71% of Americans had used Google Maps in February.