OpenStreetMap debuts Google Street View alternative: OpenStreetView

OpenStreetMap (OSM) has launched an effort to build an open-source version of Google Street View, called (not surprisingly) OpenStreetView. The hope is to use crowdsourcing to generate street-level photography for OSM on a global basis.
To do this, OSM supporter Telenav has built Android and iOS apps for those who want to capture images for upload while driving. There’s some technical complexity to recording and uploading images. Thus it’s really not accessible to general users; the project is for “mappers” and mapping enthusiasts.

To my knowledge, there are no incentives to participate beyond a leaderboard and/or a desire to see the project built. While a long shot, it’s quite possible that OpenStreetView will succeed over the long term, given the history and unlikely success of OSM itself. However, it will take years for the coverage to build up and become meaningful for a global user base.
There was an early attempt at an OpenStreetView in 2009, but it failed to

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Report: Apple Using Camera-Equipped Minivans To Capture Map Data

It’s a very safe bet that Google has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Google Maps and Street View. While many people regard Street View as eye candy, it has actually served a more important function: capturing real-world geo-data for Google Maps.
Now Apple appears to following in Google’s tire tracks.
According to an article in 9to5 Mac the mystery of the earlier Apple minivan sightings has been solved. Speculation at the time was that these vans were either capturing Street View-like images or that this was part of Apple’s nascent effort to build a self-driving vehicle. The answer is neither, says 9to5 Mac, although Street View imagery is potentially part of the equation.

The 9t05 Mac article asserts these vans are helping Apple “develop[ ] its first entirely in-house mapping database to reduce its reliance on TomTom” and that a Street View-like body of images will potentially be a byproduct of the process. This is all part of a broad set of Apple Maps upgrades

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