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April 19th, 2024
Overture Maps Foundation Releases Beta of Its First Open Map Dataset

Production-ready 1.0 version expected to unleash untold mapping services and product innovations

SAN FRANCISCO – The Overture Maps Foundation (Overture), a collaborative effort to enable current and next-generation interoperable open map services and products, today announced the Beta release of its global open map dataset, signifying that Overture’s foundational data is approaching its production-ready form and format.

Mapping service and application providers can begin beta tests using Overture’s data and schema for use in a wide range of commercial mapping applications and geospatial analysis. Throughout the beta phase, Overture will be collecting feedback from these evaluations as it moves towards a general release. While incremental changes are anticipated, Overture expects the data and schema to be substantially stable. Production releases are expected to begin in the summer.

“Overture is delivering on its promise to build and deliver high-quality map data to support mapping applications,” said Marc Prioleau, executive director of Overture Maps Foundation. “This Beta release brings together multiple sources of open data, has been through several validation tests, is formatted in a new schema and has an entity reference system that allows attachment of other spatial data.  This is a significant step forward for open map data by delivering data that is ready to be used in applications. It also lays the path for future improvements and expansion of the dataset. Our member companies have already begun to use Overture and we look forward to many more users and feedback so we can quickly get to production and deliver a comprehensive, market-grade open map dataset.”

Leading Overture members have started incorporating Overture base maps into services and products. Meta, for instance, is basing its map solutions on Overture data. Microsoft is adopting Overture worldwide to add coverage on Bing Maps. Esri is beginning to use Overture data to publish new 2D and 3D map layers in ArcGIS, and TomTom will be incorporating Overture data into their Orbis Maps, bringing the most comprehensive map for the widest range of use cases. With the Beta release, the entire mapping community can begin testing Overture data and incorporating it into their service pipelines.

Overture is unique in allowing companies to attach outside data to the Overture base map via Overture’s Global Entity Reference System or GERS. In the Beta release, GERS IDs, or unique identifiers, are attached to entities in the data. This allows data to be consistently, correctly and more quickly added to the map. The Beta release also has the most recent improvements to the Overture Maps Data Schema, which allows map services developers to ingest and use map data in a standard, documented way and will be interoperable, making using the data easy and predictable.

The Beta release includes five unique base layers which have been assembled from the best available open data sources, formatted in the Overture schema and assigned GERS IDs:

  • Places of Interest. This includes data on nearly 54 million places worldwide with associated confidence scores that allow users to build map based local discovery tools or to power local search engines.
  • Buildings. With 2.3 billion unique building footprints worldwide. Any mapping services provider or developer can add their data on top of the building information, creating new use cases ranging from property management, risk assessment, and economic development to 3D visualization and more.
  • Transportation. Representing a worldwide network of roads, footpaths and other travel infrastructure that has been provided in a normalized schema for easy use in map applications.
  • Administrative Boundaries. A global open dataset of national and regional administrative boundaries, this boundary data includes regional names which have been translated into over 40 different languages to support international use.
  • Base. These contextual layers include land and water data and help complete display maps when needed.

Overture’s Data Recipe

Overture data is sourced from the best open map data sources and conflated into a single dataset. The data comes from community-built data, including OpenStreetMap, AI-derived data from satellite/aerial imagery, authoritative data delivered by governments, and newly open commercial data sources. The data then goes through validation and quality checks to ensure that it is safe for use. The ongoing challenge remains maintaining and adding to data to reflect changes. To that end, Overture is fostering a broad collaboration to build and maintain an up-to-date, comprehensive database.

To join the Overture community or become a member, please visit:
https://overturemaps.org/become-a-member/

About Overture Maps Foundation

Founded in 2022, Overture Maps Foundation is the world’s leading home for collaboration on the development of reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data that will power current and next-generation map products. This interoperable map is the basis for extensibility, enabling companies to contribute their own data. Members combine resources to build map data that is complete, accurate, and refreshed as the physical world changes. Map data will be open and extensible by all under an open data license. For more information, please visit overturemaps.org.