Qwant Pitches Map Privacy

July 14, 2019

Digital maps are an indispensable tool, especially if you ceaselessly use a GPS.  While digital maps are accurate, fast, and reliable, the also track and store user information.  One semi-logical argument is that if you have nothing to hide, what is the big deal about information being stored.  On the other hand, you should have the right to protect your privacy whether or not you have anything to hide.  Qwant Maps believes in preserving user privacy, so it is an open source and privacy-preserving map tool.  Qwant Maps was created so users have exclusive control over their geolocated data.

Qwant Maps built its tool on OpenStreetMap, a free and collaborative geographical database supported by more than one million voluntary contributors.  OpenStreetMap is not an out-of-the box solution and requires some tech savviness to use it.  Qwant Maps’s team developed a geoparsing engine to make OpenStreetMap more user friendly.

“To overcome these shortcomings and to meet the needs of most of people, Qwant Maps has developed — or participated to the development — its own software components. The will of Qwant Maps is to create a virtuous synergy between Qwant Maps and OpenStreetMap. Thus Qwant Maps uses OpenStreetMap data to generate its own vector tiles, its own base map, its own web APIs. Also Qwant Maps feeds its geoparsing web service as well as its online applications thanks to OpenStreetMap data.”

All of the code for both the Qwant Maps geosparsing tool and OpenStreetMap are open source.  Qwant Maps also uses Mimirsbrunn as its search engine, Kartotherian as a visual rendering tool based on vector tiles, and Idunn is used to highlight all information on the tiles.

Whitney Grace, July 5, 2019

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