Tuesday, July 26, 2016

MAPS.ME NEWEST VERSION IS TAILORED FOR RIO OLYMPICS VISITORS


The latest update of MAPS.ME for iOS and Android was developed for all the Olympic tourists coming to Rio.

The map of the city has specifically designed icons for all of the Olympic venues with dedicated icons for arenas, cycling tracks and water sports. Apart from that, users can find places where competitions will be broadcasted. The major landmarks and public transport stops are highlighted as well.  


MAPS.ME uses open location data provided by OpenStreetMap (OSM), a crowd-sourced map service. In order to prepare for the Olympics, enthusiasts of OSM community started what they call first online marathon, having already added 4020 buildings and 1510 streets.

All of the icons in Rio were made more visible and can be seen on the map without thorough zooming. This version of MAPS.ME is believed to make navigation in Rio easier and not only help finding tourists what they are looking for, but also recommend new places to visit.


"At MAPS.ME we always strive to make the app convenient and reliable together with maximizing its content. What we prepared for Rio Olympics is just a beginning of filling our maps with the useful information on landmarks. We collaborate with Wikimedia Foundation and other open projects in order to add this information to MAPS.ME", says Eugene Lisovskiy, CEO of MAPS.ME.

Besides, all landmarks in Rio are available for download in various languages. To make sure you import all bookmarks correctly read through this short guide: https://goo.gl/yLeCxP




These places can be viewed in a list via detailed Bookmarks pack for the app with additional info about the venues (brief description, including which Olympic events take place there and public transport directions).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

FIVE YEARS IS JUST THE BEGINNING

Five years ago, we launched the very first version of MAPS.ME for iOS with shaking hands.  We could never have imagined how popular it would become just in five years.

A great deal has changed since then. The app has become more functional, changed its name, become free, won loads of different awards, while remaining true to its original purpose as a useful tool for navigation at home and abroad.



It wasn’t all plain sailing.  We remember accidentally sending you dozens of notifications in 23 different languages. We’d like to thank all of you who forgave us and persevered :) And the three releases in one day! Android users, that wasn’t the greatest day, right?

Yep, we do make mistakes, but we correct them and learn from them too. Believe us, we feel your pain when something goes wrong with the app!

Five years is just the beginning, but this is not the time to look to the past. What’s waiting ahead?

Good news for all who love their iron horses - we’ve started developing cycling routes.  We are also getting ready to add some features to improve navigation in MAPS.ME.

We’re aware that irregular updates are annoying, so we’re working to provide you with daily map files as soon as possible.

Soon you'll also see some useful updates on travel services included in MAPS.ME.

We are also planning to update our icon. MAPS.ME is an increasingly ‘everyday’ app, not just for travelling, so our new branding will illustrate this.

We really appreciate your support, your praise and your criticism, your complaints and your thanks. We love reading the wonderful and sometimes unbelievable stories where MAPS.ME has become a part of your life. You motivate us to implement new features and to fix bugs, since we can see who we’re doing it for. We get better with your help. Thank you so much for all of the kind feedback you send us – for us it is worth a million dollars.

Five years is just the beginning, and we’re looking forward to the next anniversary to celebrate new achievements with you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

LET'S MAKE THE MOST DETAILED MAP TOGETHER!


We have amazing news! MAPS.ME users now can edit map by themselves! Our new version allows all of our users to not only create routes, search for places of interest (POI) and determine their location, but also to add details to their maps. We use Openstreetmap project as the source for our maps. Although anyone can edit data on it, in the past it was only convenient to do this on a PC or laptop. Now, you can add POI and edit information directly on your mobile device. It’s so simple and so convenient! 

As the details on maps depend directly on the number of users who participate in editing them, we are confident that the level of detail of both OSM and MAPS.ME will increase significantly. What’s more, our users can play a key role in editing maps which are used by volunteer organisations in disaster areas. We know that our users are proactive and want to change the world for the better. Creating the most detailed maps together is a kind of beneficial investment that anyone can make. 

Previously, maps were drawn with the help of satellite images. Today, the focus has shifted to contributing real-time data. We might call this principle “You see - you edit”. 


For now, MAPS.ME allows users to edit houses, pharmacies, shops, restaurants, hairdressers and other POI. You can add places and clarify or change information about them (opening hours, phone, websites, wifi, etc). In addition, there is a button which you can use to report that an object no longer exists at a location (i.e. a gas station has closed). There are no limits on editing - our users can change objects nearby or in any another location around the globe. 

Like MAPS.ME, the editor works, even when you’re not connected to the Internet. Your edits will be seen on your smartphone or tablet immediately, even if you’re offline. They will be uploaded to openstreetmap base as soon you get an internet connection, and just after you login or sign in to Openstreetmap via MAPS.ME.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Make sure you didn’t miss anything!


Over the course of 2015 we added almost all of the features that our users asked us for. Let’s make sure that you know about them and haven’t missed anything important.

We started the year by adding POI information to MAPS.ME and continued with navigation, which has become so much better since we released it at the end of 2014. You got voice guidance, routing cross borders, point-to-point navigation and, of course, routes for pedestrians.


Our map style changed, and we are continuing to improve it to give you the best possible experience while traveling and at home. You can still return to the old style by typing ‘oldstyle’ into the search field (‘light’ will bring you back to the new style).

The major update for developers is that the MAPS.ME code was published in open source, so now anyone can use our code to create their own app – for free.

And just before the year ends we managed to add a couple more useful features to the app. Both iOS and Android users got full-screen mode, so nothing will interfere with the map, when details are so important to see. Also inertial scroll is now available on the app, which means it will be easier to move the map over big distances. Try it!

And a bit of fun: you can now use emoji to search for places!


Sometimes users are upset that we seem to be implementing features a little slowly, but you can only see the tip of the iceberg. For example, this year we’ve added the new graphic library, but the result is not visible for users just yet. However, we will be able to use it to implement cool new features in the future, e.g. 3D objects on maps, etc.

We have also grown over 4 times in size this year, and there are now more than 30 million MAPS.ME users! Our team-mate Ilya Zverev became an OpenStreetMap Foundation Board Member and we revealed the secret of our logo. So much has happened to us in 2015 and so much more is waiting for us in 2016!

We want to congratulate you on a great year as we come up to the holidays, and we wish you reliable travel companions and fascinating journeys to come.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Yours,
MAPS.ME Team

Friday, December 4, 2015

SANTA WEARS A GREEN SUITCASE!

December is a month of presents: people celebrate Christmas and New Year by each other gifts. We've decided not to wait for holidays to come around, and we’re putting on our Santa suit right now, at the beginning of December. So this December begins with presents from MAPS.ME, and they are winging their way to you in a green suitcase!


Open it quick, see what you got! Wow, there are two cool gifts inside! The first one is Point-to-Point navigation, which means you can now create routes from any point, not only from your current location. And you can plan your routes in advance.

Well, you were well behaved this year, so check out your second gift in our newly released version 5.2. What's this you ask? Voice guidance?! Exactly! MAPS.ME will now give you directions while you’re driving. We want you to be safe next year, so we hope this feature will help you to stay focused on the road.

Some important tech notes should be written here. We don't use pre-recorded voices, so the text is reproduced by your device's Text-to-Speech (TTS) built-in feature. So the voice quality and language depend on your device, not on the app. You can check the link to find out more.

Wondering, what app real Santa uses to deliver all the present to the right places just in time? Maybe MAPS.ME helps him to visit all the christmas fairs to find the best gifts for each and every person in this world. We bet this year he will definitely use MAPS.ME with its new awesome features.

And the voice guidance will tell:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Dunder and Blixem!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Yours, MAPS.ME Team

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

MAPS.ME GOES OPEN SOURCE

Dear friends!

As promised, MAPS.ME goes open source. Why are we doing this?

First of all, the open-source app will enable other mobile developers to embed maps in their mobile products for free, with almost no restrictions.

Second, now you can not only contribute to the OpenStreetMap data, but also contribute to the MAPS.ME app itself.

But the most important thing is that mappers and humanitarian activists will use it to improve OpenStreetMap and facilitate relief efforts in the rural areas of disasters and political crises where other digital maps do not provide data, and reliable internet connection is not available.



Fast-updating maps are crucial in areas of humanitarian aid, especially in rural areas and lesser mapped countries. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is constantly working to encourage people to update OSM in these areas. Efforts like Missing Maps’ events prepare maps for printing and uploading to GPS devices by using volunteers in the field. The open-sourced MAPS.ME application now is included into these volunteer’s toolset, and HOT members can not only install the app for doctors and aid workers, reducing the need to teach them how to use it, but also provide people with the most updated maps. Open source means users can tailor the app to their needs, for example, adjusting the map style so important elements like fresh water taps and refugee camps are immediately visible.

“MAPS.ME's decision means that people around the world will now have access to a professionally developed, cross-platform code base that they can freely work with, and that can be customized and remixed into tools of all sorts.” said Blake Girardot, Volunteer Mapper and Member of the Board of Directors, HOT. “The ability to tailor an application means that we can make sure we are presenting or collecting our data in the most efficient way possible for the communities we serve. We will benefit directly from MAPS.ME's decision to open source their applications, and have already started planning for how we can provide our humanitarian focused geographic data and maps for use in the MAPS.ME application.” 

MAPS.ME’s code will also be available under the Apache 2.0 license, which means free usage for users, even when being used for commercial purposes. You can participate in the development of MAPS.ME or get familiar with its source code here: https://github.com/mapsme/omim

Saturday, September 12, 2015

MAPS.ME LAUNCHED ITS WALKING DIRECTONS FEATURE

MAPS.ME launched its Walking Directions feature, that allows hikers as well as urban users to find the best way to reach their destination. 

According to founder Yury Melnichek, MAPS.ME is the best visualization application for mobile for open location data provided by OpenStreetMap, a crowd-sourced map service. The company claims that in some areas MAPS.ME is more accurate than Google maps, specifically for trails in remote locations and for countries that are not on the internet giant’s priority list for mapping. 



As a matter of fact, more people in big cities prefer to walk because of traffic congestions and parking prices, and the traffic has gone crazy for the past two years, due to the tech bubble. 

Since MAPS.ME relies on the OpenStreetMap community of 2.2 million users who produce 2 million edits per day with an average of 23,000 contributors per month, it seems that a lot of unique data such as footpaths or staircases for example are made visible, unlike in other map services. “MAPS.ME walking routes extend where Google Maps can’t, including footpaths, walking trails and even up staircases, because MAPS.ME data is gathered by its enthusiastic community of contributors,” said Yury Melnichek, Head of Maps Business Unit, Mail.Ru Group.

Q&A with Yury Melnichek, founder, MAPS.ME


How and when did you decide start the company behind Maps.me? 

It was an easy choice. I needed a map for my travels that works offline, and also Google Maps didn’t have any data for my home country (Belarus) back then. So after leaving Google and traveling for quite a while, I started MAPS.ME. 

How Maps.me is different and better than Google Maps? What about Waze? 

MAPS.ME works even when there is no Internet connection, since all the data is downloaded on a phone before the first use. Google Maps and Waze are very limited once cell coverage is poor. 

Maps.me is not very well known by the mainstream users in the U.S., because Google map is very accurate here, do you think you can make it more popular? 

I think we can do that by launching features that work better than Google. For example, OpenStreetMap data is better suited for pedestrian navigation, and so we are launching walking directions. As international travel increases, offline becomes more important, and more mainstream users will hear about MAPS.ME. [editor’s note: data roaming is often unavailable or too expensive] 

As the main difference between the Google map services (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth) and Maps.me is the use of open data, how do you see the future of your service compared to Google? Do you think you can efficiently compete against this internet giant?

I strongly believe in open data, that is being constantly reviewed by other people. It not about MAPS.ME alone competing with Google, but about the whole ecosystem of companies around OpenStreetMap. And as the data quality in OpenStreetMap gets better and better, I think it will eventually become the best source of map data, similar to how Wikipedia became the best encyclopedia. 

Since the acquisition by Mail.ru Group in November 2014, MAPS.ME is free. Can you share with us the business model, currently and in the future? 

We are focused on growing MAPS.ME and OSM community at the moment, in the future we will offer them additional services such as hotel and taxi booking.