Pieter Vander Vennet’s Diary | OpenStreetMap is in trouble | OpenStreetMap

“It is a long-standing tradition that every now and then, a member of the OpenStreetMap-community posts that OSM is in trouble. Often times, these essays complain about some trivial things which are, in the end, not that important. For example, they complain that we didn’t implement Bézier curves yet (we don’t need them), or that the data model is stale (it isn’t, new tagging appears every day), that the main OSM.org website doesn’t have some feature and isn’t on par with Google Maps (that’s by intent) or that AI will make the entire manual mapping space obsolete, in “just another ten years time”.

However, most of these things miss the crucial point of what OSM is: a community; a group of people that are working together on mapping the world in an Open Data way and building related tools with Open Source. Our strength is the unison in this goal, even though everyone pursues this differently, through different technological means and for different motivations. Motivations range from the most mundane reasons up till political activism. And that’s fine. All this activity and diversity strengthens us as a global community.

However, recently, a new participant has entered the ecosystem with parasitic intents. It tries to capture away precisely what makes OSM strong: the contributors.

The means to this end is called ‘Bing Map Builder’….”