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Facebook updates Map With AI service, adds Microsoft Buildings support

Mappers from 137 countries have used the tool and contributed more than 100,000 changesets to the map.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

Facebook is updating its Map With AI service that will include more road coverage, additional tooling and artificial intelligence building support via a partnership with Microsoft.

The social networking giant released its Map With AI service in June. Map With AI started as a project to make OpenStreetMap, the largest free open-map data source, easier to use. OpenStreetMap has historically been updated manually with volunteers, but Facebook, which uses the open-map data, added tools such as AI and the RapiD editor to add more details.

Mapping is a key battleground in tech as the industry tries to keep Google Maps from dominating. In addition, map data enables a host of other services. 

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Facebook

Facebook uses OSM and its Map With AI service for Marketplace, Check-ins and Local.

Primers: 

Other key points about the Map With AI update include:

  • Global coverage for RapiD in almost every country in the world. RapiD is used by more than 1,200 people and organizations.
  • A partnership with Microsoft Buildings that allowed Facebook to focus on AI-generated roads. Microsoft has been developing its own map data for AI-generated buildings. Microsoft's AI buildings are usable in OpenStreetMap.
  • A new Map With AI plugin to support Java OSM Editor, which can bring more AI-assisted mapping tools to contributors.
  • More community scale as mappers from 137 countries have used the tool and contributed more than 100,000 changesets to the map.

Going forward, Facebook said it is hoping to enable OpenStreetMap to import more data sets from the likes of government agencies. 

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