Telenav announces switch to OpenStreetMap data and SDK launch with offline mapping support

Telenav's Scout program for mobile phones is a powerful navigation solution that competes with Google and Apple Maps. A couple of announcements were made today that set them apart from these solutions.

Telenav announces switch to OpenStreetMap data and SDK launch with offline mapping support
Image: Telenav

Google Maps is the standard navigation solution for millions of people and it is tough to compete with them. Telenav has been a force in the navigation sector and continues to actively work to bring great experiences to users. A couple of announcements were made today, including a switch to OpenStreetMap (OSM) for all map data and the release of a SDK based on OSM that supports offline map data usage.

OSM is a crowd-sourced mapping data system that is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date information to the end user. OSM's founder, Steve Coast, is now head of OSM for Telenav and offers the following explanation:

As a mapping platform, OSM is a credible alternative to proprietary solutions, with the added advantage of instant updates, resulting in a more accurate and up-to-date map. Roads change, subdivisions are built, and freeways expand so, just like all other maps, it needs updates on an ongoing basis. Today’s launch has effectively added millions of editors to the OSM global community, breathing even more life into an already exploding free and open-sourced project. Compare this to the billions of dollars that Google has spent – and will have to continue to spend – on keeping its maps updated and I think you can understand why we have switched to OSM.

The switch within Scout to OSM will start today for iPhone users with the full rollout scheduled to be complete by the end of the week. Scout will make the switch to OSM for Android in June.

The second Telenav announcement announced the availability of its Scout for Developers program with a Scout Maps and Navigation SDK. The SDK provides hybrid, online and offline, navigation support using OSM. The offline navigation support is a differentiator that is great news for the consumer who travels outside their regular cellular coverage area or who wants to reduce their data consumption while navigating.

Strava, a running and cycling focused tracking and analysis system is one of the first to sign up to use the Scout Maps API based on OSM. It will be very interesting to see what developers come up with for iOS and Android devices in the coming months.