Screenshot of

Berlin - OpenStreetMap (OSM), the free, collaborative global mapping project has doubled its number of members within the last 14 months and now exceeds 1 million registered users, according to figures released by the German software firm Skobbler.

OSM follows a model very similar to wikipedia, which the not-for-profit group says is empowering communities to take ownership of their own maps. The project competes against several commercial map providers, including Nokia subsidiary Navteq, TomTom's TeleAtlas and Google.

At the moment much of the editing is too complicated for many hobby cartographers with only around two per cent of users contributing on a monthly basis but this is expected to change with the advent of new intuitive Apps that allow users to edit places on the OSM maps.

“The technical obstacles will then be removed,” explained developer Marcus Thielking from Skobbler. - Sapa-dpa