skobbler has announced an industry first on the iPhone with the launch of an entirely free, turn-by-turn iPhone navigation app for North America based on a live user-editable map.
Powered by CloudMade, the map leverages continual updates made by a growing community of a quarter of a million mappers worldwide – ensuring drivers always navigate using the most up-to-date road map available.
skobbler introduces the notion of ‘It’s Your Map’ (http://www.cloudmade.com/itsyourmap), actively enabling consumers across America to help build the most detailed, free, up-to-date map of their local neighborhood. From the outset, this app is not intended to compete directly with the market leading navigation apps, instead it shows consumers the value of contributing to a free map of the world.
To initiate a map update, a user either reports a map or routing issue while using skobbler, or joins the OpenStreetMap community and makes the changes themselves, helping optimize their in-car or on-foot navigation. The more updates, the better the map and resulting navigation.
“This heralds an entirely new approach to creating global maps,” said Nick Black, Head of Products at CloudMade, in the press release. “Rather than accepting the limitations of static maps from anonymous map suppliers that sit inside today’s GPS devices, consumers themselves are taking ownership of creating and maintaining maps with stunning detail, accuracy and relevance. Today, the community is already making over 7,000 additions to the map every hour of every day.”
How Live Updates Work:
If a wrong turn, bad route, new road, one-way road, blocked or missing street is spotted while using skobbler, users have two options:
• Simply report the issue in the app by tapping on the ladybug symbol, which alerts the OpenStreetMap community to the need for its correction; or,
• Resolve the issue themselves by using CloudMade’s web-based Mapzen editor. Users can go so far as to add speed cameras or points of interest selecting from hundreds of available categories including: ATMs, gas stations, mechanics, restrooms, ski slopes, bowling alleys, parking and many more. To do this, users go to http://mapzen.cloudmade.com/ , sign up for an account, locate the problem area or where the new POI should go in the map and start updating or adding the new content.