On Apple, iPhoto and OpenStreetMap

After my post yesterday on the map tiles in iPhoto for iOS, I heard from several people who have worked with map tiles.

The general consensus is that Apple is using OpenStreetMap data, but has rendered their own tiles.

There is strong evidence that this is what Apple is doing, at least outside of the US.

Furthermore, the OSM Foundation has confirmed Apple is using the group’s information outside the US, but that the data is old, dating from April 2010.

This change in map tiles is yet another chapter in the growing separation between Google and Apple. While no one knows if the iOS Maps app will be replaced in the future, this change, coupled with Apple’s acquisition of several map companies over the past few years sure builds a case for it in my mind.