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Linux Foundation Takes on Metaverse Mapping Challenges

The Linux Foundation (LF), a driving force behind the continued growth of open source technology, has turned its attention towards developing a better Metaverse and creating a live digital record of our physical world.

In December, LF published the Open Metaverse Foundation (OMF) has a mission of providing a space where diverse industries can collaborate on the development of open-source software standards to create a global, inclusive, vendor-neutral and scalable metaverse.

In December, LF launched the Overture Maps Foundation. The OMF will create open map data that is interoperable and allows developers to create new map services using the combined contributions from Overture members.

The LF hopes that the mapping plans will rally forces to meet the challenge of creating a living, digital record of our physical world. This is a task no one organization can handle.

The newly created OMF within the Linux Foundation focuses on initiatives covering artificial intelligence, cloud computing and edge computingDigital assets, transactions and identity, as well as networking, simulations and security. The effort will bring participants to collaborate on creating open-source standard software and software for an open global metaverse that is vendor neutral and scalable.

Royal O’Brien executive director of OMF said, “We’re in the early stages of the development of an open Metaverse. We recognize that many open-source communities and foundations work on important pieces of this evolving puzzle.”

“While these challenges may appear daunting, I feel energized to work with a global community in order to make this vision a reality.

Metaverse Organizational Plan

The OMF has eight foundational interests groups (FIGs). Each group’s goal is to provide a focused and distributed decision structure around key topics.

FIGs offer a variety of resources and forums to identify new ideas, get work done and welcome new contributors. The FIGs are made up of people from different disciplines who have a common goal of advancing projects and technologies in their area. They also ensure that the code of each identifiable part of a project is owned by all members.

The subdivisions can address and manage elements like GitHub.org repository, subdirectorys, APIs, test, issues, and public relation. The eight FIGS of the OMF include Users, Transactions and Digital Assets. Artificial Intelligence and Networking. Security and Privacy.

Metaverse is a revolutionary way to interact and engage. Anni Lai of Futurewei’s open-source operations and marketing noted that it is not without its challenges.

The Metaverse isn’t some expensive VR headset. It’s not even NFTs. It isn’t even Web3. The Metaverse, an open set data standards, enables shared, persistent, and accessible 3D experiences”, said Vince McMullin of GenXP.

New Map-Making Maneuvers

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta and Microsoft, as well as TomTom, were behind the creation of the OMF. It is now open to all communities that share a similar interest in developing open map data. It is a collaborative initiative to develop open interoperable maps as a shared resource that can enhance mapping services globally.

Overture’s goal is to create open, interoperable, reliable map data that will enable the creation of current and future map products. Its interoperable maps are the foundation for extensibility and allow companies to add their own data.

In a recent press release, Jim Zemlin (LF’s Executive Director) noted that mapping the physical environment of every community around the world is a complex task. No one organization could manage it.

“The industry needs to work together to make this happen for everyone’s benefit,” he said. We are thrilled to facilitate the open collaboration between leading technology companies in order to create high-quality, open map data which will enable untold innovation for people, companies and communities.

It Works

Overture will combine its resources to produce map data which is accurate, up-to-date, and complete. Open data license will allow all to access and modify map data.

Zemlin said that this will help drive innovation, as it allows a community to build services on the Overture database.

Map data is used in thousands of applications today, including local search, discovery, navigation, mobility, autonomous vehicles, and data visualisation. Map services of the future will be used to power augmented-reality applications that merge digital and physical worlds for rich social, educational, and productivity experiences.

OMF’s aim is to integrate data from multiple sources including Overture Members and civic organizations as well as open data sources. The new map will improve interoperability. Its unique system links entities from various data sets with the same real entities.

Get Rid of the Chaff

To make that happen, Overture will establish quality assurance processes that validate its data to detect map errors, breakage, and vandalism — thus ensuring that map data can be used in production systems.

A structured data schema is the second component in the mapping integration. It defines and drives the adoption and standardization of a data architecture that is structured and documented to create an easy-to use map ecosystem.

Map services today face many challenges. The challenges include the sourcing of high-quality and current data, as well as curating it from various sources. According to the announcement, this is difficult and costly.

Another challenge is the fact that different datasets refer to the same entities in real life. They are difficult to combine because they each use their own vocabulary and conventions.

Open data maps can be prone to errors and inconsistencies. They may also lack the structure required to easily build commercial map services and products on top.

Map data is becoming increasingly important for AWS customers and internally. But maintaining accurate and complete map data is expensive and complex. It can make it difficult for customers to access and hinder innovation.

He added that OMF’s solution enables everyone to benefit from the same underlying data for a variety of existing and emerging mapping applications across industries.

Two Goals Meet

Jan Erik Solem (Engineering Director for Maps at Meta) believes that the embodied future of the internet will require immersive experiences to understand and blend in with the physical environment.

Overture, by delivering open, interoperable map data, provides the foundation for a metaverse that can be built by developers, creators and businesses.