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Wikipedia dumps Google Maps

Trend in the making as another blue chip name loses Google in favor of OpenStreetMap.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
Wikipedia's new iOS app: No Google Maps for you Wikipedia

First it was Foursquare. And then Apple. Now, it's Wikipedia's turn to switch from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap.

Wikipedia's decision, announced in a blog post, is likely to raise more questions about the company's decision to charge so-called high-volume users of its Maps APIs, which formerly were free. In March, Google started charging between $4 to $10 per additional 1,000 loads to any site pulling over 25,000 daily loads.

Explaining its decision for the switch to the community-created mapping project, Wikipedia's Yuvi Panda wrote:

Previous versions of our application used Google Maps for the nearby view. This has now been replaced with OpenStreetMap -- an open and free source of Map Data that has been referred to as "Wikipedia for Maps." This closely aligns with our goal of making knowledge available in a free and open manner to everyone. This also means we no longer have to use proprietary Google APIs in our code, which helps it run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications.

The announcement was held in conjunction with the debut of Wikipedia's iOS app as well as the next incarnation of its Android version.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In late February, Foursquare announced it was ditching the Google Maps API in favor of OpenStreetMap. Soon after, Apple switched over to using OpenStreetMap data for iPhoto on the iPad and iPhone.