That’s a real pain for Mapzen users, whose ranks include civic tech organizations like Code for America, app developers, and government agencies like the Portland-area transportation agency TriMet. And it’s a bummer for those who contributed to Mapzen’s wide-ranging data sets, which included detailed info on public transportation.

The open source mapping company Mapzen announced it would shut down at the end of the month, with its hosted APIs and support services going dark on February 1st, 2018.

That’s a real pain for Mapzen users, whose ranks include civic tech organizations like Code for America, app developers, and government agencies like the Portland-area transportation agency TriMet. And it’s a bummer for those who contributed to Mapzen’s wide-ranging data sets, which included detailed info on public transportation.

While Mapzen’s products are built on openly licensed data from OpenStreetMap, it adds valuable software tools to the mix for those who don’t know how to build their own or don’t have the time

In a statement, TriMet spokesperson Tia York said the company’s closure would have “no negative impact” on its ongoing, federally-funded project that used Mapzen’s Pelias Geocoder to help convert postal addresses to a point on the Earth’s map. “The Pelias Geocoder is open source software, with a significant community; therefore worldwide use of, improvements to, and maintenance of Pelias is expected to flourish as an open source project,” York said.
At this point, the company’s coroner’s report is thin. Meech would not comment on the reason for the shuttering. The company is owned by a Samsung subsidiary focused on research and is funded by the South Korean company’s incubator. We do know that running a mapping company ain’t cheap. While Mapzen’s products are built on openly licensed data from OpenStreetMap, it adds valuable software tools to the mix for those who don’t know how to build their own or don’t have the time. Its tools help developers build aesthetically pleasing maps and equip them with search and routing services, while its staff curates, publishes, and creates data. It’s possible Samsung simply decided it didn’t have the money to compete or that it wasn’t worth the price tag.

“This is certainly the hottest mapping has ever been.” says Mapzen CEO Randy Meech

Burgeoning augmented-reality tech needs locational services to operate. And your self-driving car company leans heavily on incredibly detailed digital maps to guide vehicles without drivers.

No wonder it’s an expensive sector to break into. “You just have to build a really serious and deep team to pull it off,” says Alex Barth, Mapbox’s vice president of business development. Here, open sourcers compete with established players like TomTom, Here, and Google, which all use their own fleets of sensor-studded vehicles to map and remap roads all over the world with precision.

“This is certainly the hottest mapping has ever been,” Meech says. He’s confident his soon to be ex-employees will do just fine, working on similar projects for other outfits. “Just the sheer volume of recruiting from different companies and outreach from people, it’s mind-boggling.” In the meantime, keep your eye on where you are. It’s worth a lot of money.

Source: wired.com