3 min read

Yesterday, the Linux Foundation announced that Mapzen, an open-source mapping platform is now a part of the Linux Foundation project. Mapzen focuses on the core components of map display such as search and navigation. It provides developers with an open software and data sets that are easy to access. It was launched in 2013 by mapping industry veterans in combination with urban planners, architects, movie makers, and video game developers.

Randy Meech, former CEO of Mapzen and current CEO of StreetCred Labs, said, “Mapzen is excited to join the Linux Foundation and continue our open, collaborative approach to mapping software and data. Shared technology can be amazingly powerful, but also complex and challenging. The Linux Foundation knows how to enable collaboration across organizations and has a great reputation for hosting active, thriving software and data projects.”

Mapzen’s open resources and projects are used to create applications or integrate them into other products and platforms. As Mapzen’s resources are all open source, developers can easily build platforms without the restrictions of data sets by other commercial providers.

Mapzen is used by organizations such as Snapchat, Foursquare, Mapbox, Eventbrite, The World Bank, HERE Technologies, and Mapillary. With Mapzen, it is possible to take open data and build maps with search and routing services, upgrade their own libraries and process data in real-time. This is not possible with conventional mapping or geotracking services.


Simon Willison, Engineering Director at Eventbrite said, “We’ve been using Who’s On First to help power Eventbrite’s new event discovery features since 2017. The gazetteer offers a unique geographical approach which allows us to innovate extensively with how our platform thinks about events and their locations. Mapzen is an amazing project and we’re delighted to see it joining The Linux Foundation.”

Mapzen is operated in the cloud and on-premise by a wide range of organizations, including, Tangram, Valhalla and Pelias. Earlier this month, Hyundai joined Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and the Linux Foundation for innovation through open source. It was a cross-industry effort for bringing automakers, suppliers and technology companies together to accelerate the development and adoption of an open software stack. Last year, Uber announced that it is joining the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member with an aim to support the open source community.

Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation said, “Mapzen’s open approach to software and data has allowed developers and businesses to create innovative location-based applications that have changed our lives. We look forward to extending  Mapzen’s impact even further around the globe in areas like transportation and traffic management, entertainment, photography and more to create new value for companies and consumers.”

According to the official press release, the Linux Foundation will align resources to advance Mapzen’s mission and it will further grow its ecosystem of users and developers.

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