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.
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
“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.