Let’s take a look into the future: If maps are increasingly created and interpreted by machines without a human in the loop - does this mean human generated content is becoming obsolete?
Today, algorithms draw building footprints, identify population centers, locate stop signs and lane markings. High precision maps enable pixel perfect superimposition of digital content in AR, and centimeter level localization maps guide autonomous vehicles.
Yet maps continue to address human needs: they allow us to choose a place to eat out and find the best way to walk there. The heart of OpenStreetMap is the human connection to mapping, a community where we capture and discuss human observed data. The map of the future is a complex composite of human and sensor generated data, accelerated by machine learning for efficiency and validation. I’ll share our experience at Mapbox building these new pipelines, and open discussion of how to expand this ecosystem while supporting community.