Foursquare has decided to drop Google Maps from its web interface after three years in favour of the open source map project, OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is an editable wikia that allows users to upload their GPS data, as well as physically editor the vector mapping, and add points of interest.
Foursquare have been considering the switch for six months, with the increase in pricing for the Google Maps API, and noticing that other companies were doing the same:
“During our January hackathon, one of our intrepid engineers wondered what the world would look like if we made our own maps.” Explained the folks behind Foursquare in their announcement blog. “To do that, he used data from OpenStreetMap…We love the idea of open data, and were happy to try it out.”
The data is being used via MapBox Streets, created by startup MapBox that turns the OpenStreetMap into better looking maps. It doesn’t, however, affect the iOS or Android apps that draw on the Google Maps API that are already on the phone.