Grab, Southeast Asia The company that sponsors it has largely stepped up its efforts to improve its mapping services and guidance after experiencing problems with OpenStreetMap, the world's largest collaborative planning community, through a series of deceptive modifications in Thailand.
Of course, accurate maps are essential to a smooth driving experience for 125 million users of Grab. Without accurate details of the site, ensuring that the driver and passengers are easily fulfilled is almost impossible.
Grab's effort to improve the endless search of more accurate maps includes a multi-input method used The Google Maps as a base with Grab adds its own information – "points of interest" that are cultivated through customer feedback and business fundamentals – and other public or licensed information.
However, what seems to be the focus on speed has made it suspend all activities in Thailand – the second largest economy in Southeast Asia – after it has been shown that data developed by it has been overwritten Open Street Map (OSM) with inaccurate modifications created by a remote team in India.
Established in 2006, OSM's mission is to "Make the world's best map data collection" and makes its data, developed by more than 2 million volunteers from all over the world, available for free use.
Team based in India from GlobalLogicA third-party software company contracted by Grab has made dozens of changes in recent months that have overwritten the information generated by OSM members, who plan the streets voluntarily by visiting them personally. Grab a suspense job in Thailand before GlobalLogic After OSM members complained about several incorrect modifications in OSM forum posts.
Unlike the designers of the abyss who collect the data personally, Grab used satellite images to "correct" the details of local maps in Thailand, which in rapidly changing cities such as Bangkok say their work is incorrect because it is based on an ancient history of sources. One cartoonist, very angry at the constant flow of inaccurate updates, Marking the correction of summaries began With #WhatInGrabsNameIsThis to document the pathway. Include more than 30 amendment tagsBut perhaps countless others have not been found yet.
"Most of the open street maps are handicrafts, but it comes with an industrial mentality," said Meshary Moqbel, a member of OSM in Bangkok, of TechCrunch.
Mqbal, who had previously arranged and managed a workshop to help local staff and volunteers working on maps in Thailand, understood how OSM worked and said he had spent "hours" adjusting the road changes in his incorrectly changed neighborhood.
"God knows what they're doing elsewhere."
Problems came to a head in November when the Map Open Map board rejected membership requests for more than 100 "GlobalLogic" applicants, limiting the number of external representatives working on Grab maps and other agency clients.
"There was a collective registration of 100 new accounts on 15.11.2018 from India, most of them coming from a single IP address from a" well-known "company to OpenStreetMap.There were more complaints about modifications from that company, which provided" mapping services "to companies Other, " Read a circular issued by the Council.
The council said that the incident was the most important chapter of the membership rejected since 2011.
Fears of attribution
Beyond making incorrect adjustments using a remote team, Grab – Which is finalizing a $ 3 billion financing round from Likes Toyota and SoftBank, Raising $ 6.8 billion so far – seems to be using OSM data without proper attribution.
In a telephone interview, Agay Poloso, head of regional operations at Grab, confirmed that the company was using OSM data but told TechCrunch that it was not facing the consumer in the Grab application. Instead, he explained, the pod uses information for some internal algorithms, routing and estimated time of arrival. Bulusu – a former Google employee who joined Grab last year – explained that the company uses a range of information, including OSM data in some places when needed.
However, Grab uses OSM data in consumer terms as well A publication is shown in a blog from the future. There are some parts of Bangkok where the cycling application cuts a trip through roads that do not appear within the Google Map Overlay that you use to view the sites. Previously claimed Uber I did the same thing.
While it may be true that a pod is not used All Of the OSM data in its consumer product – uses a lot of its own information, including GPS commands from previous trips – it merges any part of the enterprise data into its service means that it must contain a credit. The Grab app currently does not display any balance that goes against it OSM License Agreement.
When two examples show how OSM data is used, Grab backs back and confirms that he uses some enterprise data in his consumer-facing applications.
The Grab statement (below) does not indicate that the company will add an endorsement to its map, according to the OSM policy. Instead, the company suggested that it update its OSM wiki page.
We have always been open and transparent about the partners we work with and our data sources. We're actively working to find the best way to recognize all sources within the app itself. Regarding OSM specifically, we outline our partnership here: https://github.com/GRABOSM/Grab United. We also update the Grab OSM Wiki page with more details about our partnership. Grab and OSM have worked closely together in many cities in Southeast Asia – we share the same goal of mapping the SEA map better for the public good. It has been a very positive relationship to a large extent with we are excited to continue to expand.
This may seem trivial to some, but planning information is a crucial difference for global companies that are relentlessly landing.
In fact, the failure of Grab in adhering to the OSM policy comes only after one week It is reported that Go-Jek – Its Indonesian-based competitor, supported by Tencent, Google and others, has copied the Grab map, specifically its points of interest, in Singapore as part of its recent expansion in the country.
Poluso refused to comment on the reports, claiming he "did not know" whether Joe-Jake had revealed crow's data.
A Go-Jek spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Development of local relations
Grab has indicated his intention to work more closely with the OSM community in Thailand. A recent report from Quartz He highlighted his work in South-East Asia, particularly in Indonesia, where he collaborated with the OSM humanitarian team, a non-profit organization that emerged from the OSM disaster mapping.
Boluso said he planned to meet with the OSM community in Thailand while acknowledging that the company should work better.
"We apologize to the Thai OSM community," he said. "We plan to build a process [and are] In an attempt to hold an open discussion with the Thailand Forum. "
As part of the bridge-building efforts, Boluso himself pledged to meet face-to-face OSM members in Thailand. A meeting is being planned at the Grab office in Bangkok, although Grab exec has not yet made a request to meet in Chiang Mai, where there are a large number of community members.
"We fully understand the feelings of Thailand, and we stopped mapping to make sure we are doing the right thing," Bolusu said. "Throughout the region, we have done a lot of good work in operations management, and we want to continue with that … if people continue, we want to work with them."
Of course irony is that pod, which CEO Anthony Tan constantly put in the "domestic hero" During her fight with Ober and raising more money than any emerging company in Southeast Asia, she resorted to outsourcing her own mapping to India. In doing so, local heroes damaged the development of maps designed to help improve services for all.
But Boluso defended the use of a bag for Global Logic. He said Hyderabad, where the GlobalLogic team works with Grup, "is where most of the global mapping talent is based." He said the agency's use was "complementary to local teams," and while acknowledging that there could be errors, Is keen to establish a system to work with the OSM community in Thailand.