Mapping data keeps us safe during natural disasters, helps us navigate around busy cities, gets food delivered to our doorsteps, tracks our physical activity, enables geotagging on social media, and connects us with rideshare drivers. Each day billions of people around the world depend on mapping data used by insurance providers, logistics companies, real-estate apps, navigation and delivery apps, and environment protection agencies, just to name a few.
The current map economy is broken
Until about 2004, governments owned most geospatial data and it was difficult or impossible to access. Collecting geospatial data is expensive and relies on satellite systems and fleets of cars. The growing demand for high quality geospatial data has increased its commercial value. Google Maps continues to increase prices for its APIs. Tech giants and companies building location-based software and apps started to look for more cost-effective data sources.
Lucky them, they didn’t simply find a cheaper alternative, but they found a free source. OpenStreetMaps (OSM). OSM is an open-source project built on a network of mostly volunteer contributors and often described as the “Wikipedia for maps.” Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, mapping services Mapbox, Kaart, and Telenav, and numerous smaller companies have become prominent map editors on OSM, according to a paper
published in the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
in 2019. Apple uses OSM data as one of several sources for Apple Maps and is responsible for almost 80% of all edits to pre-existing roads in 2018.
Longtime OSM contributors are concerned that corporate mappers will negatively influence the open-source nature of the project and access to its data. Read the 2021 article “Inside the ‘Wikipedia of Maps,’ Tensions Grow Over Corporate Influence
” in Bloomberg CityLab to learn more. On top of that, why should corporations make money off of the work of volunteer contributors?
How Hivemapper rewards its contributors
is building a decentralized global mapping network that rewards its contributors for collecting high volume 4K street-level imagery with dashcams. Who are our contributors? Rideshare drivers, delivery drivers, fleet owners, GIS enthusiasts, mapping hobbyists, and truck drivers. Contributors can map anywhere but can earn cash for mapping via dashcam only in certain cities
. We will be expanding to more metro areas in the future. Stay tuned.
The Hivemapper Network — A new way to build a map
Next year, we will move our map data to the blockchain and launch our own cryptocurrency Honey (HONEY). The transition from cash rewards to cryptocurrency rewards will not only enable us to scale a global decentralized map, but revolutionize the mapping economy and map data use.
Imagine a network of map contributors and map consumers intricately connected on the Hivemapper blockchain, participating in a democratized and equitable exchange of valuable map data. By deploying a simple dashcam on a car or truck, a contributor can receive rewards for their contributions and share the value created by a decentralized global map, while powering the world’s critical geospatial infrastructure.
A Blockchain-Based Mapping Network: Why Now?
A confluence of technological advancements has set the stage for a blockchain-based global mapping network. Blockchain infrastructure provides built-in economic incentives to promote coverage where it matters to consumers, while keeping contributors anonymous. High quality 4K dashcams are widely available for only $200 and can be connected to software for efficient collection. The cost of machine vision compute cycles has dramatically decreased. Thanks to these improvements it is now possible to build and scale a high resolution, constantly updating, blockchain-based mapping network.
Hivemapper’s strategy to grow a contributor network
The key to expanding Hivemapper’s coverage is rapidly growing a global network of contributors. We’re addressing this challenge by reducing barriers to entry for contributors. We’re currently supporting the BlackVue dashcam and will be launching the Hivemapper Open Dashcam in the spring of 2022.
If you’d like to learn more about the Hivemapper blockchain, cryptocurrency Honey (HONEY), and Open Dashcam, email us firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject line “Hivemapper Network Strategy” and we’ll send you more information.
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