The Malmö-based Mapillary, which develops street-level cartographic imagery service, has received 2,100 miles/360 degree street images from the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport.
Prior to its 100th anniversary, the Ministry has photographed country’s entire road network with panoramic cameras. Images are now being loaded into Mapillary’s databases.
“Hopefully, this can inspire other countries to share data that are stored in their digital systems. By sharing such data with specialized companies like Mapillary, the images become accessable to the public”, says Mapillary’s founder Jan Erik Solem.
The images are subject to the so-called Creative Commons License. So, the gift only gives Mapillary the right to use these images. The Lithuanian Ministry of Transport, however, still has the copyright of the material.
Mapillary is owned by the four founders, namely Johan Gyllenspetz, Yubin Kuang, Jan Erik Solem and Peter Neubauer, in addition to smaller funds and business angels. In spring 2016, Mapillary got investments for SEK 68 million (ca. € 7 million) external capital.
Mapillary is a user-generated street service, which is based on people who walk around and take pictures with their mobile phones. Last year, Mapillary automatically started analyzing all input sequences of images. Now, it can identify many details in the pictures; at pathways, signs, intersections or pedestrian crossings. As users continuously upload their own street images, the Ministry can thus get an overview of any changes that occur in the road network.
Lithuania is the first country that shares its entire road network with Mapillary. However, cities like Helsingborg and Amsterdam, have previously shared a large number of street images with this service.
Mapillary was founded in 2013 and currently stations 32 employees. In addition to its office in Malmö, it has also subsidiaries in America and Austria. Mapillary is primarily funded by venture capital. Last year, the company had a turnover of almost SEK 5 million (ca. € 515000). This year, sales of around SEK 8 million (ca. € 825000) are expected.