Apple Using OpenStreetMap Data in iPhoto for iOS

Yesterday, we noted that Apple appeared to not be using Google Maps in its new iPhoto app for iOS, although it was unclear exactly where the new mapping data was coming from. Daring Fireball's John Gruber later clarified that Apple was still using Google Maps for the Places functionality in iPhoto for iOS but that maps for Photo Journals and slideshows were coming directly from Apple.

apple campus iphoto ios
The OpenStreetMap Foundation has now issued a blog post revealing that Apple is using at least some of its mapping data for these features, although it does note that Apple is using outdated mapping data and is not crediting appropriately for its usage.

The new iPhoto for iOS, however, uses Apple’s own map tiles – made from OpenStreetMap data (outside the US). [...]

The OSM data that Apple is using is rather old (start of April 2010) so don’t expect to see your latest and greatest updates on there. It’s also missing the necessary credit to OpenStreetMap’s contributors; we look forward to working with Apple to get that on there.

Apple has relied on Google Maps on its iOS devices since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007, but has expressed interest in moving away from Google, clearly due at least in part to tensions between the two companies. Toward that end, Apple has been working hard to beef up its own in-house mapping expertise over the past several years, acquiring several small companies including Placebase, Poly9 and C3 Technologies.

Top Rated Comments

MetalMoon Avatar
116 months ago
We don't like google so we'll use these out dated maps for now, that'll will show them. Mwhahahah
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmwebs Avatar
116 months ago
Pretty poor of Apple not to give credit where its due. I also dont get why they changed the design of the maps...OSM use a pretty nice color scheme on the maps on their site...if you're going to rip off their work, may as well make it look pretty instead of sludge-yellow.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ihateilove Avatar
116 months ago

These new maps are shockingly ugly. I bet Google is having a good laugh right about now. Hopefully, Apple's internal map team is working hard on improving the quality and these maps.


Be aware, however, that these maps aren't used across the system, but only in a small way within iPhoto. This probably does stop Google getting your location data when you take an image with your iDevice, though, so it can't be too bad.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jasonsewell Avatar
116 months ago
These new maps are shockingly ugly. I bet Google is having a good laugh right about now. Hopefully, Apple's internal map team is working hard on improving the quality and these maps.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kurtatx Avatar
116 months ago
I don't care which service they use, but the one place where I miss my Droid is on the road. Native iPhone maps just do not cut it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmwebs Avatar
116 months ago

Nonsense. If I'm using a program to make a scrapbook (which is exactly where this is implemented) I do NOT want some stupid company logo in the middle of my finished product.


You need to learn how licensing works. Apple have used the maps under a license, and broken the license terms. Just like with Google, they must keep the copyright license information on the maps. It's only fair given that the OSM project is free and done and relies on donations. From the looks of things Apple didn't even pony up a bit of cash to donate to the people that did all the hard work. Hopefully this will change.

IMO I'd rather they continued paying Google - you cant go far wrong with their maps.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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