Vodafone’s purchase two years ago of Wayfinder for 230 million Swedish crowns (roughly $31 million USD) to backbone its location services is now, brace yourself, being given away! Your eyes don’t deceive, Vodafone has made almost all Wayfinder code available via open source.
According to Vodafone’s internet director Pieter Knook, “Given our decision to stop developing turn by turn location based services as part of our core business, it seemed an obvious choice to make the code we own open source. We look forward to seeing its continued use in all sorts of different applications in the future.”
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Vodafone’s initial plans for Wayfinder included using the software to power location-based advertising and GPS navigation systems.
Unfortunately, Google’s free turn-by-turn navigation on Android devices in turn made Nokia offer the same service for free, which makes Vodafone’s announcement seem like a conciliatory cry of “Uncle”.
The software will be available publicly under a BSD licence. This includes the distributed back-end server, tools to manage the server cluster and map conversion as well as client software for e.g. Android, iPhone and Symbian S60.