open street map

Image by The Verge

Do I detect a signal for abandon ship?

The OpenStreetMap Foundation, a non-profit foundation who aims to support and enable the development of free-to-use geographical and spatial data as well being connected to the collaborative project OpenStreetMap,  today confirmed that the newest iteration of the iPhoto app for iOS – which Apple unveiled yesterday at their special event – is using OpenStreetMap location data for its photo geo-location feature instead of Google Maps.

The OSM (OpenStreetMap) data that Apple is using is apparently really old and does not credit the OpenStreetMap Foundation and its contributors for the data usage.

Stephen Hackett blogged yesterday the change to the geo-location data in the newest iteration of iPhoto for iOS, with several screenshots comparing the street and landmark display information between the desktop version of iPhoto (which does presently use Google Maps) and the new iOS version.

Apple bought mapping companies C3, PlaceBase, and Poly9 within the last few years, but as of now have not done anything significant with them, and any of these purchased-companies could be powering the location information backend for the new iOS app.

Still, this sudden departure from using the Google Maps API could allude to a serious blow in the relationship between the two software giants, a relationship that has been plagued with intellectual property conflicts, the most recent of which being the turn over of Android information to Apple.