Overture Maps Foundation Names Marc Prioleau as Executive Director

by | May 22, 2023

SAN FRANCISCOThe Overture Maps Foundation (OMF), a collaborative effort to enable current and next-generation interoperable open map products, today named Marc Prioleau as executive director. 

The OMF was founded in December by inaugural members including Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom, and aims to create reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data as a shared asset that can strengthen mapping services worldwide.

An early advocate of open map data, Prioleau brings strategic vision to incubate mapping innovations and promote use.

Mapping the world’s physical environment as communities and infrastructures grow and change is a complex, costly challenge that no single organization can manage alone. The OMF brings industry together to facilitate open collaboration among leading technology companies to develop the high quality, open map data that will enable untold innovations.

Prioleau, an early and frequent advocate for the use of open map data, has worked in the mapping and location field since 1995, first in the nascent GPS market and later in mapping and location services. He’s also worked with the mapping operations at a variety of companies including Meta, Uber, Mapbox and deCarta.

“Marc is the perfect choice to lead the OMF,” said Jan Erik Solem, chair of the OMF Steering Committee and Meta Director of Maps. “He has been involved in the conception of Overture from its beginnings and has a strong vision for the role open map data can play in government. industry and society. He understands the markets, mapping technology and what it takes to develop strong strategic partnerships.”

“The OMF was formed in a pivotal time for the mapping industry and Marc, as its first executive director, will prove crucial in setting the tone, pace, and collaborative nature of this powerful endeavor,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “His career has tracked the emergence of location and mapping technologies, giving him historical context with which to frame strategic business issues.”

Current and Future Innovations

Map data underlies applications for search and discovery, routing and navigation, logistics, autonomous driving, and data visualization. Future map services will power augmented reality applications, merging the digital and physical worlds to deliver rich social, gaming, education, and productivity experiences. 

“As maps become part of the fabric for many applications and industries, the expectations for accuracy and reliability of those maps have exploded. The data has to keep pace with those expectations. Overture is being built to provide a shared spatial framework for the physical world. We believe that the best way to do that is through an open collaboration among many partners,” said Prioleau. “I am thrilled to be a part of growing Overture Maps to meet the mapping needs both today and into the future.”

Involving and Building Community

OMF recently made available a pre-release dataset (2023-04-02-alpha) demonstrating the combination of industry, government and community sources as a showcase to elicit community feedback.

OMF is also currently designing a common data schema that will help make maps easier to use. And, it is building a global entity reference system to link entities from different datasets to the same real-world entities to simplify the process of merging and combining data.

The OMF has also recently added Esri as well as other new contributors to the foundation to amass a wide range of signals and data inputs to improve map data. By joining, members accelerate progress and influence prioritization and decisions around investments, technical innovation, and timing. 

To join the community or become a member, please visit:
https://overturemaps.org/become-a-member/

Read the Linux Foundation’s interview with Marc Prioleau here.

About Overture Maps Foundation

Founded in 2022, Overture Maps Foundation is the world’s leading home for collaboration on the development of reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data that will power current and next-generation map products. This interoperable map is the basis for extensibility, enabling companies to contribute their own data. Members combine resources to build map data that is complete, accurate, and refreshed as the physical world changes. Map data will be open and extensible by all under an open data license. For more information, please visit overturemaps.org.

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