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Mapzen Open Source Data and Software for Real-Time Mapping Applications to Become A Linux Foundation Project

Eventbrite, Foursquare, Here, Interline, and TriMet Use Mapzen’s Open, Accessible Mapping Platform Along with 70,000 People Worldwide

SAN FRANCISCO – January 28, 2019 –The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that Mapzen, an open source mapping platform focused on the core components of map display including search and navigation, is a new Linux Foundation project.

Used by organizations such as Eventbrite, Foursquare, Mapbox, The World Bank, Snapchat, HERE Technologies, and Mapillary, Mapzen provides developers with open software and wide-ranging data sets that are customizable and easy to access. Using Mapzen, developers are able to take the open data and build vibrant maps equipped with search and routing services, augment their own libraries and also process data in real-time. This is something not available from conventional, traditionally proprietary mapping or geotracking services.

Launched by mapping industry veterans in 2013 in combination with architects, urban planners, movie makers, and video game developers, Mapzen will continue its mission to provide an open, sustainable and accessible mapping platform.

“Mapzen is excited to join the Linux Foundation and continue our open, collaborative approach to mapping software and data,” said Randy Meech, former CEO of Mapzen and current CEO of StreetCred Labs. “Shared technology can be amazingly powerful, but also complex and challenging. The Linux Foundation knows how to enable collaboration across organizations and has a great reputation for hosting active, thriving software and data projects.”

Mapzen’s services have historically seen upwards of 70,000 registered users. The project portfolio, now operated in the cloud and on-premise by a wide range of organizations, includes:

  • Tangram, a 2D/3D map rendering engine, which enables interactive visualizations in web browsers and on mobile devices. Tangram has over a thousand stars on GitHub and worked together closely with Mapzen’s Tilezen vector tile platform. These high-performance mapping components have ongoing contributions from staff members at Snapchat and HERE Technologies, among other organizations.

  • Valhalla, a routing engine that can plan trips by car, bike, foot, or public transit worldwide. Valhalla offers worldwide support for public transit, when paired with data from Mapzen’s Transitland platform. These mobility projects have ongoing contributions from staff at Mapbox, Mapillary, Interline Technologies, among other organizations.

  • Pelias, a geocoding search engine, has nearly 1,500 stars on GitHub. Pelias provides forward, reverse, and other forms of geocoding against a wide range of datasets, including Mapzen’s Who’s on First gazetteer, an openly licensed gazetteer of millions of places across the world. These search and data projects have ongoing contributions from staff at Cleared for Takeoff, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Museum, and the New York City Planning Department, among others.

Developers use Mapzen’s open resources and projects to create their own applications or integrate them into other products and platforms. Mapzen’s resources are all open source, so developers are able to build platforms to their liking without the restrictions of data sets put in place by other commercial providers.

“Mapzen is a high-utility technology for developers building aesthetically pleasing maps, which are increasingly important to a wide range of businesses and government agencies. Mapzen’s open approach to software and data has allowed developers and businesses to create innovative location-based applications that have changed our lives,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to extending  Mapzen’s impact even further around the globe in areas like transportation and traffic management, entertainment, photography and more to create new value for companies and consumers.”

In addition to neutral governance, the Linux Foundation will align resources to advance Mapzen’s mission and grow its ecosystem of users and developers. Linux Foundation services range from helping to organize events and working groups to providing marketing support and handling IP and other legal issues as they arise.

Mapzen User Quotes:
“We’ve been using Who’s On First to help power Eventbrite’s new event discovery features since 2017,” said Simon Willison, Engineering Director at Eventbrite. “The gazetteer offers a unique geographical approach which allows us to innovate extensively with how our platform thinks about events and their locations. Mapzen is an amazing project and we’re delighted to see it joining The Linux Foundation.”

“We support Mapzen in its mission to offer open source geolocation technology for developers and organizations around the globe, and we’re happy to see that they’ve joined The Linux Foundation,” said Matt Kamen, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Foursquare. “At Foursquare, we believe that the world needs access to location tech and insights from trusted, independent platforms. Tools like those from Foursquare and Mapzen spur creativity and innovation.”

“HERE is impressed by the quality and flexibility of Mapzen tools and we are excited to see them continuing as a Linux Foundation project,” said Oliver Fink, Director at HERE XYZ. “Tangram and Tilezen are important technologies for HERE XYZ — we look forward to contributing to them and further supporting the open source mapping community.”

“At Interline, we’re proud to continue to provide professional support for many Mapzen software users in the transportation sector,” said Drew Dara-Abrams former Head of Mobility Products at Mapzen and current Principal at Interline Technologies. “Both public transit agencies and private mobility providers see great benefits to open platforms for transit data and multi-modal routing. Interline looks forward to further growing this user-base and to collaborating with others under The Linux Foundation’s umbrella.”

“We use the Mapzen toolbox every single day,” said Jon Schleuss, Data and Graphics Journalist at the Los Angeles Times. “Tangram has empowered our newsroom to make more maps faster. It has given us the ability to create amazing maps from vector data for both online and in our printed newspaper. I am excited to see the future of those tools supported by the open source community.”

“The story of Mapzen demonstrates the genius of open source software,” said Bibiana McHugh, Manager of Mobility & Location-Based Services at TriMet.  “The code will continue to flourish through collaboration, community and shared resources, making it the smarter investment for government. TriMet is proud to use Pelias as part of the FTA MOD Sandbox grant project and to continue to collaborate on its development with Cleared for Takeoff.”

About Mapzen
Mapzen is an open and accessible mapping platform that focuses on the core components of geo platforms, including search, rendering, navigation, and data. Founded by map industry veterans in combination with architects, urban planners, movie makers, video game developers, artists and more, Mapzen empowers organizations of all sizes to reimagine what’s possible with cartography today. Mapzen supports the geo community through building tools and collaborating on open source mapping projects.

About the Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found here.

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