Apple Credits OpenStreetMap in iPhoto App

Apple has finally attributed OpenStreetMap as the source for geotagging map data in iPhoto for iOS, as noted Friday in a tweet by a board member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. While it didn’t take long after iPhoto for iOS was released in May for people to notice that it was using OpenStreetMap for its mapping features, rather than Google Maps, there was no mention of the service in the app’s credits until now. 

Richard Fairhurst, a board member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, said in an interview with TalkingPointsMemo Idea Lab, “Obviously we’d rather that Apple had attributed right from the start, but nonetheless this is a big step forward. If the biggest computer company in the world, one with a perfectionist instinct, feels that OpenStreetMap data meets its needs and is happy to publicly attribute us, then that’s a great vote of confidence in our community’s work.”

Acknowledgement screen in iPhoto referencing OpenStreetMap

Source: Screenshot Posted by OpenStreetMap, Handy Arrows and Boxes Added by TMO

Apple is not the only high-profile company to use OpenStreetMap data instead of Google Maps. Foursquare and Wikipedia also have made the switch. This may be a result of Google beginning to charge high volume users of the Google Maps APIs for the access.

However, the other high-profile users gave credit, as requested by OpenStreetMap. Apple for some unknown reason did not at the outset. Apparently it took a bit of a nudge to make the change happen.

“The OSM Foundation has made informal contact with staff at Apple and, in addition, one of our volunteer mappers who is an iOS developer spoke to people at Apple. We believe it was the latter that precipitated adding the attribution - it’s great to have such an active and engaged community!” Richard Fairhurst said in a statement.

OpenStreetMap is a crowdsourced map of the world that has been developed over the past eight years. It aims to compete with Google Maps to be the most-used mapping source on the Internet. (It is currently number seven in popularity, according to Alexa.)