ArcGIS Living Atlas

Esri joins Overture Maps Foundation

This post was originally published on February 6, 2023, and has been updated.

Building and maintaining a global map is a major challenge. Esri is among several organizations who recognize the importance of high quality, reliable, and accessible map data. A new collaboration called Overture Maps Foundation has been founded by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom to tackle this challenge. The mission of the foundation is to create reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable map data for the globe.

Esri is pleased to announce that we have joined the Overture Maps Foundation and will be supporting the work to create more complete, accurate, and extensible map data that will be available under an open data license. Esri has joined as a General member where we will have the opportunity to join and chair working groups and projects that support the Overture mission and the needs of our user community.

How Esri will participate

Esri is uniquely positioned to help enable the sharing of authoritative, open data from government organizations with the broader GIS and Mapping community that rely upon that data to support their work.

Esri has long focused on enriching the global maps and services available in ArcGIS Living Atlas by making it easy for Campuses, Cities, Counties, States, and Nations to share their local data. Esri’s Community Maps Program accepts data contributions from the GIS community and uses them to make improvements to Esri Basemaps and other location services. Since 2010, the Esri Basemaps have been enriched by thousands of users and organizations who have contributed hundreds of millions of features!

While the program began in response to user requests to have their data included in the Esri Basemaps they were using in their work, it expanded to also enable contributors to share their data with selected organizations (e.g. OpenStreetMap) as open data.  Overture can now become one of those organizations.  This helps ensure that other mapping platforms will also have access to this authoritative open data, serving the needs of GIS organizations and their constituents.

Current status and what’s next

Over the past year, Overture released the data schema for multiple data themes and several ‘alpha’ data releases beginning October 2023.  Esri has been supporting these data releases by sharing open data from the Community Maps Program, such as buildings, and other open data from Esri.  We’ve also been experimenting with ways of enriching Overture data with GERS IDs, which is one of the powerful capabilities of the data schema.

This week, Overture announced the ‘Beta’ release of its first open map dataset.  Several Overture members have started incorporating Overture data into their services and products.  Esri is beginning to use Overture data to publish new 2D and 3D map layers, which we will begin to release in ‘Beta’ over the next few weeks and months.  Please join us at the Esri User Conference to learn more about these efforts and get a preview of new map layers using Overture data.

How you can participate

If you maintain data that you would like to share and see as part of Overture, you can work with Esri to make that happen. Email overture@esri.com for more information or learn more about Overture Maps Foundation at overturemaps.org.

 

About the authors

Lucy Guerra has over 20 years of experience as a product manager, working with organizations to understand their business challenges and shaping products to address those challenges. She focuses on enhancing the user experience with quality data, and leads a team focused on bringing to market, and driving awareness of, Esri's data and location services.

Deane Kensok has been with Esri since 1990 and is currently the ArcGIS Content CTO and a member of the Living Atlas team. For the past twenty years, Deane has worked on a variety of Internet mapping and data publishing products and projects, which have led to his current work with ArcGIS Online and the Living Atlas.

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