Hello, KartaView!

After 5 years of serving the mapping community through OpenStreetCam and over 7.6 million kilometers recorded by contributors all around the world, we’re now happy to announce a new product identity: KartaView.

As maintainers and developers of KartaView, it’s been an honor so we’re taking this opportunity to share more on what we’ve been up to recently and what contributors can expect in the near future.

But first… Why the new name?

In 2018, the OSM Foundation (OSMF) adopted a Trademark Policy discouraging names like OpenStreet-Thing. This was brought to our attention this year. In support of our good friends, we chose to embrace the name change.

Despite changing names a couple times (anyone remember OpenStreetView?) our mission has stayed consistent since the early beginning: we want to make OSM better by providing an open, collaborative repository of street imagery for the mapping community. So the imagery license, terms & conditions and privacy policy remain unchanged – we have no intention to be less open.

KartaView at Grab

As you probably know, in December 2019 the team and the project transitioned to Grab – the super-app of Southeast Asia and top contributor to OSM in the region. 

Since then, besides supporting the global mapping community we’ve been increasingly active in driving imagery collection in Southeast Asia. The region is still an under-mapped region of the world despite a population of over 650 million and we’re on a mission to improve that.

Earlier this year we partnered with local Grab drivers across 20 cities in Indonesia and Malaysia, recording a staggering 880,000 km of imagery in the span of a few months. All this data is publicly available on KartaView for everyone to use.

On the engineering side, we’ve been busy this year with significant infrastructure and pipeline improvements to support the growing platform, and while improving some things… others broke. Apologies to our active users.

Kuala Lumpur coverage, all contributed by Grab drivers

Things are starting to look better and the engineering team is active on more future-proofing, which will be rolling-out in the coming months.

What to expect now?

First, kartaview.org will be the new home for the project. In the next few days, the other pieces like the mobile apps, JOSM plugin, Github repos will be updated as well. Some external projects integrating KartaView will probably need a bit more time to update the name, so most likely we’ll spot OpenStreetCam in tools and other corners of the internet for a while.

The name change will not break any existing integration (API end-point will be maintained) and changes to the legal terms and conditions are limited to reflecting the new name.

The Road Ahead

So now you know why we have to change our name and that our mission remains the same. There’s just so much around us that is unmapped, and we’ll always be at the forefront of this community-driven mission – to make OSM richer and better through imagery.

Thank you for being a part of the journey.

KartaView team
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4 thoughts on “Hello, KartaView!”

  1. This is really good news, and the emphasis on maintaining ‘openness’ is really welcomed. This didn’t work so well for Mapillary, when they were acquired by Facebook.

    Well done, Grab people. Looking forward for merchandising being made available for purchase, to show our support for open mapping.

  2. Good move. Now it would be a good time to refurbish the uploader script in Python: It crashes quite often and leaves open sequences in the website that can not be deleted because they stay open for ever. The project needs uploaders who contribute pictures, so make it easy for them to do it.

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