AI and crowdsourcing fueling mapping innovation to meet smart city and mobility needs

To address these challenges, new mapping companies are turning to artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing, among other things, to deliver far more complex geodata. This increasing diversity and competition is the catalyst behind a global mapping market that is growing more than 11% annually and is expected to be worth $8.76 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research.

“It’s a very exciting time to be building a mapping company, because the world is getting connected,” said Alex Barth, head of auto for San Francisco-based Mapbox. “And it creates all sorts of new ways of thinking about location.”

Google Maps triggered a revolution when it was launched in 2005. The embeddable, adaptable mapping service quickly supplanted then-leader Mapquest, which had built its early lead on static maps that provided directions. In 2012, Apple broke with Google to create its own maps, which were initially regarded as a disaster, though they have continued to improve in quality.