Vodafone open-sources Wayfinder location-based services

Summary:Vodafone is to open-source its Wayfinder location-based services software, after deciding to stop developing turn-by-turn sat-nav in-house.In March, the operator said it would shut down Wayfinder because "the competitive environment for turn-by-turn navigation has changed significantly in the last six months as competitors have chosen to make this service free to customers".

Vodafone is to open-source its Wayfinder location-based services software, after deciding to stop developing turn-by-turn sat-nav in-house.

In March, the operator said it would shut down Wayfinder because "the competitive environment for turn-by-turn navigation has changed significantly in the last six months as competitors have chosen to make this service free to customers". On Tuesday, it said the code will be made available on github under a BSD licence.

"The aim is to offer other organisations the opportunity to use a code base which has been developed over the past decade so that they can build new and innovative navigation products which widen choice for consumers," Vodafone said in a statement.

The code being made available includes "the distributed back-end server, tools to manage the server cluster and map conversion as well as client software for e.g. Android, iPhone and Symbian S60," according to a Wayfinder blog post.

"For development purposes Vodafone Wayfinder host a small server cluster with free map data from the Open Street Map database," the post notes. "Unfortunately the Wayfinder Server is not developed to operate directly on this dataset making routing very unreliable, however, you are more than welcome to help out fixing those issues. Please notice that this server instance is intended for development and testing of the software, not for large scale end-user services."

Vodafone only bought Swedish Wayfinder a couple of years ago, for around £20m. The company had several services: Wayfinder Navigator (turn-by-turn sat-nav), Wayfinder Active (tracking), Wayfinder Earth (3D globe with points of interest) and Wayfinder Access (a sort of electronic guide-dog application for the visually impaired).

In its statement on Tuesday, Vodafone said it would offer all Wayfinder Access subscribers a fixed refund on their existing service, "in recognition of the specific needs of the blind and partially sighted community".

Topics: Telcos

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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