Parmi mille sujets passionnants aujourd'hui, il y a bien sûr celui de la cartographie qui connaît aujourd'hui de profonds bouleversements.

C'est donc avec un vif intérêt que nous avons lu le dernier billet de Fabien Clavier sur Cities in Mind : "The Battle of the Maps", très bien documenté. Il  pointe notamment l'arrivée d'acteurs comme Facebook, Apple ou Microsoft dans Open Street Map, ouvrant ainsi le débat sur la "digital gentrification" : alors qu'un site comme Open Street Map était principalement par une communauté de contributeurs individuels, de plus en plus de grandes entreprises font leur entrée dans la communauté.Extraits :

Mapping is probably the most unknown battle behind the fierce competition of ride-hailing companies.

Without proper maps and cartography systems, ride-hailing companies cannot develop location-based products and services, manage their fleet of riders and delivery men, access their customers and provide real-time information for their end-users.

As geospatial giant Esri founder Jack Dangermond put it “Knowing where things are, and why, is essential to rational decision making”.

Is mapping the new frontier of platform urbanism? What can we learn from the recent incursions of ride-hailing companies in that space? How can new location intelligence services inform city decisions?


You might be familiar with OpenStreetMap (OSM), also known as the Wikipedia of Maps, a collaborative project launched in 2004 to create a free editable map of the world. There are currently more than 5 million registered users, about 20% of whom have edited the map. Historically, OSM volunteers make edits that increase the representation of their communities or reflect humanitarian-minded interests. OSM has an humanitarian branch, called HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) providing tremendous benefits for humanitarian aid, disaster responses and economic development.

In a 2019 paper, a team of researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder and the National University of Singapore have shown that large tech companies, such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft were gaining a lot of prominence as editors of the map.


The rise of corporate mappers has stirred some tensions with the longtime OSM editors, as volunteers debate about OSM’s future. Information that corporations collect from their own sources is not always fed back into OSM and their priorities might be different from the rest of the community. It has led some OSM mappers to view corporate influence as a threat to the open-source project’s core values of data attribution and reciprocity.

Such issues could lead to what Jessical Lingel, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, calls digital gentrification in which the push from corporations alters the spirit of community-driven crowdsourcing.

The problem is not new and many argue that a diversity of perspectives might not necessarily be negative. The combined efforts of corporate and volunteer editors could make OSM more powerful and accurate.

La suite de l'article est à lire : ici.


A lire également :

Un article dans Medium (merci à Hestia Labs de nous l'avoir transmis) sur comment Open street map fait l'objet d'alliance de Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft pour contrer Google : Open Street Map is having a moment.

Notre rapport sur "La valeur du trottoir" où on aborde spécifiquement le sujet de la "couche informationnelle" : ici.

Nos précédents billets sur la cartographie en cliquant sur le hashtag #cartographie.




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