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OpenStreetMap Turns 19, Eyes Drinking Age

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OpenStreetMap just turned 19, marking another milestone in the world of open-source geospatial data. From humble beginnings to widespread adoption, let's take a stroll through its impactful journey.

In 2004, Steve Coast founded OSM with a vision to create a free and editable map of the world. This was a time when access to map data was often restricted or expensive.

OSM broke down those barriers with a Wikipedia approach, fostering a community-driven approach that allowed everyone to contribute.

By 2005, the project gained momentum, with major media coverage recognizing the potential of this growing movement. In 2006, OSM expanded, providing access to free, detailed maps. A small project that started in London suddenly had users all over the world contributing data.

A look at Openstreetmap at 19

Today, OSM is the largest open-source map project, with 18 established chapters and support for more than 50 languages. Millions of users rely on its API, and the community is more motivated, multi-talented, and diverse than ever.

OSM has grown so large that it's been able to bring on a site stability engineer, reflecting the project's immense size and scope.

Moreover, OSM has become an essential tool to help solve some of the world's most pressing challenges. From disaster relief efforts to urban planning, its data supports crucial decisions and solutions.

With its 20th birthday looming, OSM is focusing on a strategic plan to support its ever-growing community. This includes funding essential skills like project management, engineering, and front-end development, ensuring that the project continues to thrive and innovate.

OSM resilience is a testament to the power of community-driven innovation. Its growth from a small project to a global phenomenon shows what is possible when people come together around a shared vision.

As OSM approaches its 20th year, its growth and dedication to providing access to quality map data set a shining example for other open-source projects.

Source: OpenStreetMap

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