Web 3.0 is still a vague concept for many, but for others it represents the future and is synonymous with opportunity. The mapping start-up Hivemapper has understood this. Indeed, its ambition is to become a decentralized Google Maps. And it must be said that it is off to a great start! Indeed, at the beginning of April, it has completed a first round of funding to support its launch. Led by Multicoin, this round of funding reached $18 million. Major venture capital firms have also invested. These include Craft Ventures, Solana Capital, Shine Capital and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 and Sunny Ventures…. Focus on this Californian start-up which, according to its co-founder and CEO Ariel Seidman (former director of product management at Yahoo) has the potential to become the Google Maps of Web 3.0.
Hivemapper’s starting point
Today, businesses and governments are increasingly relying on highly accurate map data to make decisions. Widely used by insurance companies, logistics companies, delivery applications, government organizations, it is essential to the global technology infrastructure. Every day, billions of people around the world use and depend on these maps. They are now estimated to be a $300 billion market. However, the cost of these cards is extremely high and is a barrier. Hivemapper was born out of this problem. This company, founded in San Francisco, has the vision of democratizing and decentralizing the production of maps to make them more accessible. Its goal: “To create a global map that is accessible and built by all of us”. Indeed, anyone can work on this collaborative map like Open Street Map. In other words, Hivemapper wants to become a more affordable and regularly updated Google Maps. But how can it compete with this giant?
How to stand out from the web giants?
As we know, mapping the surface of the globe is an ambition that costs billions of dollars, and keeping it up to date even more! Only giants such as Apple, Google and Alibaba can claim to play in this field. At least, this reasoning is only valid if you think from a centralized point of view. Hivemapper is a decentralised mapping service. The network is built on the Solana blockchain technology. Accompanied and advised by a team of experts such as Anatoly Lakovenko, CEO of Solana, Jaron Waldman, former head of Apple Maps, Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana and many others… Hivemapper has found THE solution: an open-source and collaborative map.
Indeed, with the help of a dashcam, anyone can record navigation data and contribute to the project. Users will be rewarded with HONEY cryptos for their automatic contributions to the global map. With this vision, the Californian startup, built around a distributed network of contributors, considerably reduces its production costs and can thus offer a map that is updated very regularly. Indeed, unlike the web giants, it will not have to bear the overheads associated with mapping vehicles equipped with cameras and paying employees to drive them. In addition, the network will be able to set up bonuses on areas that need updated images, offering greater rewards to active drivers in return.
Hivemapper is a global, decentralised, people-owned and operated map. Using a simple dashboard camera, anyone can contribute map data to Hivemapper, allowing underrepresented geographic regions to be added to the map and kept up to date.ARIEL SEIDMAN, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF HIVEMAPPER
The dashcam, an essential tool
Obviously, these dashcams are based on precise specifications that ensure :
- Location authentication: multiple layers of security to ensure the dashcam is authentically geotagging its location
- Automatic data transfers: data collected from the dashcam goes directly to the Hivemapper network via integration with the Hivemapper Contributor application.
- Dynamic data collection: dynamically determines the data required for the map and ignores the rest.
These capabilities make it the ideal dashcam for mapping on a decentralised network. In addition, map editors can also earn HONEY tokens by processing the data and performing quality assurance. But also by annotating the images with tags when identifying points of interest like signs, restaurants, shops… The process relies on a network of closely connected map contributors and consumers.
What future for Hivemapper ?
Currently, Hivemapper has contributors building maps in nine metropolitan areas. Hivemapper will use its newly acquired funds to build hardware for the dashcams and recruit more core contributors. The dashcams are already available for pre-order. They will be shipped to 33 cities next summer and then worldwide by the end of the year. The opportunity to make your car journey worthwhile could motivate people to join the community. Finally, although the challenge remains enormous, the idea presented by Hivemapper is no less promising.