Last December, Overture Maps celebrated its one-year anniversary of this announcement:
It’s been a year since AWS, Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom launched the Overture Maps Foundation. We started with the idea to create reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data as a shared asset that any map service provider or developer can use to power richer mapping services. Since then, we’ve built this into a real team with real outputs. Before we move into the tasks ahead, I want to recognize what the Overture community has accomplished over the last year. We’ve:
- Launched five data themes of core map elements with a consistent data schema.
- Built release processes and mechanisms to maintain a monthly release cadence.
- Pioneered an open entity reference system that could fundamentally change the way map data is conflated and used.
- Developed working relationships and teamwork across a broad coalition of companies and organizations.
- Grew to over twenty member organizations.
Every week, I talk with someone new about Overture, our mission, and our goals. In every case, I come away with feedback that confirms our basic premise: that for the mapping industry to continue to grow and expand, we need to align on common, open base layers and then let the creativity and initiative of the ecosystem add richness, detail, and utility on top of those base layers. That’s not a simple thing to do, but it is critical for this market.
Looking ahead to 2024:
2023 was a year of foundation building and we have a few more months of that. Then we will shift into a new phase, focused on growth.
Building the Foundation
Since last spring, we have been in a Foundation-building phase, creating base layers, developing and implementing our Global Entity Reference System (GERS), and building the capacity for a monthly release cadence. Our data focus has been on building base layers by aggregating the best available sources as a starting point.
That phase will continue into early 2024 as we finish these activities. The key metric will be to release Overture data as production data with an operational GERS across all themes.
Phase III: Growth
In Q2 2024, we should be shifting into the third phase: Growth. This is the phase where we begin to have an impact in the market. Growth applies to many areas that we will be targeting:
- Growth in adoption — our #1 metric in this phase.
- Growth in data associated with Overture basemaps through GERS.
- Growth in feedback as we begin to use signals and community feedback to update, correct, and refresh our data, starting with Places Signals.
- Growth in our base layers as we systematically upgrade and expand the data.
It’s going to be an exciting ride. I am really grateful to those who have decided to come along.
We had several new members join Overture at the end of 2023 and early 2024, bringing our membership to more than 20.