Magic Earth - Free Navigation & Maps App for Android and iPhone
www.magicearth.com
external-link

Magic Earth is a free maps and navigation app based on OpenStreetMap data. Enjoy 3D maps, Satellite maps, Turn-by-turn navigation, HD Traffic, Offline maps

Magic Earth uses OpenStreetMap data and a powerful search engine to offer you the optimal routes for driving, biking, hiking, and public transportation. They don’t track you, nor do they profile you. They don’t trade in your personal data, and they don’t collect it (as stated in the Apple app privacy statement).

Interestingly it also has an AI function built in if you activate the camera to use it as a dashcam, with Driver Assistance warnings such as avoiding collisions, lane departure warnings, stop and go assist, etc.

It also has support for Apple CarPlay as well as Apple Watch. If there are any incorrect map issues you can fix those yourself using OpenStreetMap.

See https://www.magicearth.com/

#technology #magicearth #navigation #android #iOS

Dreeg Ocedam
911d

I was aware of its existence, but it’s a proprietary App with no business model, so I’m pretty sure that even though it is great today, I’m pretty sure it won’t stay that way for long.

GadgeteerZA
creator
311d

The app has been around a number of years already and I’m suspecting that, like open source companies do, they have other paid services that keep them running as this is not all that they do. Seems they enterprise services based around 3D terrain mapping etc.

Dreeg Ocedam
310d

Yeah, they seem to sell services for car GPS systems and such, so I guess having an app that goes with it is a great selling point.

What about osmand for android? I love this app

poVoq
511d

Yeah, OSMand works great and the version on F-droid is completely free. For (proper) non-Android phones there is Pure Maps, which is also great.

GadgeteerZA
creator
211d

Yes also good but not sure if it has alerting, dashcam AI features, 3D terrain, etc and runs also on iOS. I did use it on Android but quite a while back.

@HMH
711d

Interesting, one thing I wonder is how they make money / how this is funded. This just seems too good to be true, no data collection/tracking, free apps, no ads. Sadly it looks like the apps are not open source though.

GadgeteerZA
creator
211d

Yes on all counts - it is an interesting one yes as generally you either have a paid service, dish out adverts, or sell user data. Their ownership resides in Romania and The Netherlands which are both inside the EU and fall under GDPR. So the penalties for fraudulently selling user data would be pretty extreme there.

GadgeteerZA
creator
611d

Yes I don’t think it is only open source products that are serious about privacy (although that is the general rule) and I suppose not all proprietary companies are into selling their user data. According to Android app they are headquartered in Switzerland but have dev locations in the EU so legislation is quite tight on privacy there.

@adrianmalacoda
4
edit-2
11d

It looks like a nice app, but if it’s so great, why is it non-free?

This isn’t a rhetorical question, I’m genuinely curious (about this and other “good guy proprietary apps”). Usually when software denies its users the four freedoms it’s because its business model doesn’t allow it, but I don’t understand what this app’s business model is. It’s gratis and has no ads and does not sell users’ data. Is it proprietary “just because”?

As the FSF said in 2019, it’s not just about privacy.

GadgeteerZA
creator
311d

Not sure why you are asking as there is lots of software given out for free which are not open source - called freeware. The one does not automatically follow the other in terms of being free of cost and then also all being open source. Many propriatary vendors choose to reatin their full rights to the software. Sometimes it serves as a demonstration of their ability with regards to other products which they sell.

poVoq
5
edit-2
11d

Seems to be closed source? So all you can do is take them for their word, and if they like they can change the privacy policy any time.

Sounds like one of those typical VC funded scams: offer a externally subsidized (VC funds) service for a time to collect many users and lock them in the platform. After a while sell the company off and the new owner changes it to a surveillance capitalism business model.

GadgeteerZA
creator
311d

True not open source, but they’ve been on the go a good number of years. They’re very public about their privacy stance so it would pretty well much wreck their reputation if that was an issue. Not seen any issues mentioned though about that, so I would not want to just speculate without some foundation.

@Echedenyan
211d

Well, the issue is when I want my rights.

GadgeteerZA
creator
111d

Your GDPR rights should be well guarded I gather. Citizens outside of the EU though basically don’t have many rights from what I gather if I watch what Facebook gets up to. Which is why many are now choosing to subscribe to services hosted in Switzerland or the EU countries.

@Echedenyan
2
edit-2
11d

My four rights are not fit with them:

  • Right to study the program
  • Right to modify the program
  • Right to distribute the program
  • Right to distribute modified versions of the program
GadgeteerZA
creator
411d

Those are open source rights and Magic Earth made no claim on being open source, which is why I never posted it in the open source community. It’s a free tool to use that is at least privacy respecting.

@Echedenyan
1
edit-2
11d

And I was replying in first place to your claim that is not open source jajajajajaja.

You tell that and I was playing the role of the user demanding its rights.

GadgeteerZA
creator
111d

It is the choice of any publisher (their freedom?) to choose a propriatary or open source license to distribute under, and it’s up to us to choose what we want to use. We cannot override someone else’s freedoms.

@Echedenyan
210d

Is the choise, as far as don’t restrict to third parties, so in this case if that person wants that, must do “private software” which is software not shared and maintained for itself.

For us, Magic Earth would not exist.

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