OpenStreetMap Powers ‘Scout for iPhone’ Global GPS Navigation

Telenav is announcing that their free Scout for iPhone app “will use the crowd-sourced and free OpenStreetMap (OSM) for all map data. OSM, the “Wikipedia of Maps,” offers users a more accurate and up-to-date map than what is available via commercial maps.” The OSM rollout starts today for some; all users will have it by the end of the week.

Scout for iPhone with OSM - report a map issue in the app

The switch to OSM for the Scout Android app will hit in the US in June.

Scout’s companion website,, is already using OSM. Additionally, Telenav announced today that through a rebrand of the popular skobbler GPS Navigation app for iOS and Android, Scout is now available in over 50 app store markets with maps and navigation for almost 200 countries. skobbler’s GPS Navigation app was the first OSM navigation app in the world. Telenav acquired skobbler earlier this year. With this launch, Scout is supporting a growing community of global OSM editors.

The OSM community has doubled year over year to more than 1.6 million registered editors, with people mapping every country around the world, ranging from the U.S. to Germany and Lesotho to North Korea. The OSM crowd-sourced model enables edits to be published every minute, resulting in maps that are often more detailed and more up to date than commercially available maps. In addition to reporting traffic or accidents, now anyone using Scout can send mapping feedback directly from the app to Scout OSM editors who will let the person know once the data has been reviewed and updated.

Anyone who has used mapping software or mapping apps can tell you that routes are constantly changing; landmarks are demolished, construction is constant, and in order to be accurate mapping software has to keep up. That’s where the OSM community makes all the difference.

Scout for iPhone with OSM (in phone)

Today’s launch has effectively added millions of editors to the OSM global community, breathing even more life into an already exploding free and open-sourced project. Compare this to the billions of dollars that Google has spent – and will have to continue to spend – on keeping its maps updated and I think you can understand why we have switched to OSM. – Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap and Telenav’s head of OSM

If you are a Scout for iPhone user, the OSM rollout will be automatic.

As for the global community of editors, this is true validation that their enthusiasm and passion for making a free, editable map of the world has made a dramatic impact on the evolution of maps and navigation.

Telenav has also announced that today they are launching a Scout Maps and Navigation SDK, which will “allow mobile app developers to integrate OpenStreetMap-based GPS navigation and maps within their own products. The new Scout for Developers program also includes a new Scout Maps API for desktop and mobile websites using OSM, allowing developers to replace Google Maps.”

You can get more information at

Are you a map editor? Then you’ll want to check out Telenav’s map-editing contest at; cash and tablets are up for grabs.

If you haven’t already downloaded the Scout for iPhone app, then you should give it a try!

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.