iPhone finds free navigation with Skobbler

Competition is certainly warming up in the navigation space, with iPhone users finally getting a free turn by turn offering in the shape of Skobbler. In partnership with the OpenStreetMap community, Skobbler has made some waves in the market with its community-based approach to mapping and navigation.

Based in Germany, Skobbler uses free maps from OpenStreetMap (OSM), the Wikipedia of maps that already has over 250,000 users worldwide dedicated to updating and creating “the most detailed free map of the world.” This, much like Waze for the BlackBerry, ensures that all users benefit from consistently updated maps without paying for expensive and out-of-date updates, claims Skobbler,.

Making use of this community, Skobbler users are invited to update and make corrections to existing data and create new mapping data for all to share and all updates are uploaded and made available to all Skobbler and OSM users, quickly and free of charge. “It is a community driven sat nav solution that empowers consumers to make outdated and poorly detailed maps a thing of the past,” the company said.

“All those who have edited the map have experienced a real sense of achievement. Everybody can make sure that their respective neighbourhood has the best map coverage,” added Marcus Thielking, co-founder of Skobbler.

Skobbler maps are also available in North America and will be made available across Europe and Russia later in the year. Premium upgrades to the app include speed camera alerts.

In mid-January Finnish handset vendor Nokia shook up the navigation market by making mapping and turn-by-turn navigation available for free to a potential 83 million Symbian users. Google responded with Google Maps Navigation for Android, and the iPhone has so far been lagging behind with a number of premium offerings like CoPilot.

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