Yep, that’s correct, foursquare is now touting OSM as the basemap of choice! Announced today on the official foursquare blog (reserved usually for only BIG news) foursquare seems to think that the OSM maps are pretty and thus will be treating users to the sweet OSM maps that are maintained and updated by the legion of faithful OSM mappers and partners. Apparently the decision goes back a few months to a foursquare hackathon where OSM seemed to get the company’s attention thanks to some clever mashups that were created during the event.
This from Foursquare… Starting today, we’re embracing the OpenStreetMap movement, so all the maps you see when you go to foursquare.com will look a tiny bit different (we think the new ones are really pretty). Other than slightly different colors and buttons, though, foursquare is still the same site you know and love.
According to the post, foursquare reached out to MapBox for some help in generating what they call “pretty maps” which were made using OSM data. It seems a partnership was struck and now the MapBox Streets product is now what’s respondible for all the foursquare maps. via MApBox… MapBox Streets is a beautiful alternative to Google Maps powered by high-quality open data from OpenStreetMap, available now from MapBox.
Note, just this week MapBox Streets was announced on their blog – see details in this post
OSM basemap displayed on a venue map via foursquare.com
You have to expect that perhaps down the road foursquare will be offering special rewards, badges etc… for OSM mappers who help update the maps via foursquare… seems like a good fit to me and a great way to grow the crowd. See more details in this blog post on the foursquare blog