The OSM Foundation today announced the imminent disbandment of the project due to a heavy loss of users, little uptake and not enough map data and community to sustain the project. Flocks of users abandoning OpenStreetMap for Google Map Maker and most formaly-supportive commercial entities now using ClosedStreetMap mean there are not enough donations to run the servers or hand out GPS units to the needy.
Mikel Maron, board member of the OSMF said today “We had no idea the project was in such a bad shape until it was discovered that one of our keenest users, RichardF, had in fact been paying hundreds of people on Mechanical Turk to enter reasonable looking data. We thought he liked living on a boat but that was just to keep costs down, so he could keep paying those turkers to map.”
MapQuest announced the closure of their well publicized ‘open’ project and renamed it the ‘MapQuest Closed’ project in response. Ant Pegg in an email stated “It took CM over 2 years to realise the project was worthless, it took us 1 year, hopefully the next sucker will only take 6 months.” In addition, MQ is closing it’s variety of open sites including open.mapquest.co.uk and instead replacing them under the new ‘Closed’ brand begining in the Cook Islands: closed.mapquest.co.ck.
A jubilent ReallyOpenStreetMap team have taken the loss in their stride and accepted new users to their ranks. A defiant member of the now-dorment legal-talk list known as “13gal 3ag13” stated “HAHA WE WON!!!! NOW i CAN DeBATE TEH LICENSE OF FREEDZOMG” and asking all those leaving OSM to join ROSM, give up mapping and discuss the correct placement of commas in legal documents.
Steve Coast, founder of OSM, is to change roles at Microsoft and begin working on printer drivers for the upcoming Windows 8.