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The Overture Maps team previewed two important documents today:  the Overture Data Schema that outlines how the open map data will be structured and the Overture Global Entity Reference System, a stable ID system that will allow users to easily join additional data types to the map data.  Overture’s mission is to power current and next generation map products by creating reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable map data for developers using geospatial data or building map services. These two documents will constitute core parts of Overture Maps’ offering and are the result of collaborative work between the Overture team members.  They are being published to get input from the broader user community.

Overture Data Schema – Consistency is Key

The Overture Data Schema is optimized to be easy for developers to use. Developers will benefit from a structured data model with clear and intuitive rules around how data is represented in the dataset. With Overture, for example, a polygon is always a polygon rather than a combination of other geometric features such as a closed way, or a relation collecting a set of ways. Overture also uses a linear referencing model to describe how properties may only apply for a portion of the road; this will make it possible to add data layers to a road without modifying the road objects themselves. In this initial release, we are sharing a proposed data schema for buildings, places, transportation, and admin data layers.

Overture Global Entity Reference System – Adding More Data

The Overture Global Entity Reference System is designed to simplify interoperability by providing a system to structure, encode, and reference map data to a shared universal reference (GERS ID). We envision GERS as the connector layer between the Overture’s open map data and a huge body of geospatially tagged data that exists across companies and organizations. Developers will have an easier time merging and combining different datasets which use their own unique conventions and vocabulary to reference the same real-world entities.

Request for Feedback

Overture will be successful if developers adopt our map data, and that will only happen if Overture data is actually easy to use and combine with other datasets. To ensure that we can achieve our mission, we’re asking for your feedback. Please check out previews for the data schema and global entity reference system and provide feedback. We’ll incorporate this feedback in future iterations of these systems.

Progress Continues

Our announcements today mark continued progress since the Overture Maps Foundation was formed last December. In so doing, we started to enlist a growing community of map data users to build an open map dataset that will meet the needs of map service providers as the mapping market evolves. In April, we released a pre-release dataset (2023-04-02-alpha) that incorporated some of the new features that we plan to build in Overture. In future months, we’ll share additional datasets covering more data layers. Open map data will be an economic game-changer, and we’re excited to be part of that change.