The startup Hivemapperm, a decentralized mapping network, is getting closer to its goal of overthrowing the B2B mapping empire that Google has built by installing dashcams on ride-hail and delivery vehicles to map the world.

Hivemapper is still a clear underdog in this battle, with only 2% of the world’s roads mapped. The chief of operations at Hivemapper, Gabe Nelson, thinks the company has reached a tipping point from which it will grow exponentially.

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Where Does Hivemapper Stand Now?

Hivemapper said it had amassed over 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles) of exclusive street-level images. In comparison, Google has traveled over 60 million kilometers, making Hivemapper’s data nearly nothing. But Hivemapper gathered this information over three months. From 2007 to 2019, Google gathered information on 16,1,000,000 kilometers of roads for the first time.

By the beginning of next year, the business hopes to have mapped 10 million kilometers of roads.

What Does Hivemapper Do Differently?

Instead of spending millions on specially equipped mapping vehicles, Hivemapper solicits volunteer help worldwide to compile its street-view data. Its dashcams, which retail for $549, feature a high-resolution imager and a highly accurate GPS. As a result of its use of dashcams, the firm claims that its data is constantly updated, in contrast to Google’s Street View, which has material that is, in many cases, more than a decade old, especially outside of major cities.

It’s a similar model to the GPS app Waze, which Google acquired in 2013. Waze is a crowdsourced traffic app that collects and distributes real-time traffic data from users worldwide. While Waze users contribute to making the app better or out of pure love for maps, Hivemapper contributors are offered something that could, theoretically, be worth money.

What Is The Hivemapper Token? 

The native token of Hivemapper is called HONEY, used to incentivize drivers and editors. Token demand rises as more routes are mapped, and the map becomes more helpful to end users. Hivemapper converts the monetary value of map data purchases made by businesses into tokens that can be used to incentivize future contributions from platform users. According to a report, only 10 billion HONEY tokens will ever be created, as Hivemapper’s CEO and co-founder Ariel Seidman stated.

The token value will be determined after Hivemapper has amassed sufficient user data to provide a useful product. There are currently over 11,000 contributors working on the startup, and 418 regions have been mapped in some detail. For comparison, whereas Hivemapper has covered around a third of the roads in Los Angeles, it has only covered about a quarter of the roads in Genoa, Italy.

Hivemapper’s Growth Plan

Nelson remarked on the necessity of updated map data for firms training autonomous cars, saying, “Where this thing gets huge is when you have 90% coverage in a region or a nation because then someone can entirely replace what they’re using now with you.” Quite a few of the largest map data customers in the world are regular conversation partners for us on the map data side. Our team is now validating several of them.

Hivemapper’s plan for exponential growth recruiting fleets, first focused on small and medium-sized fleets to establish a foundatioinvolves nal infrastructure. Hivemapper theorizes that because many fleets already purchase dashcams as insurance if their drivers are involved in accidents, they are likelier to adhere to best practices for mounting the devices, resulting in higher-quality imagery. Since fleets sometimes take different routes, Hivemapper can collect information from less-traveled areas.

Hivemapper’s interface shows fleet managers where their drivers are headed and how many tokens they’ve collected. They may reward drivers by redistributing or splitting tokens to any predetermined wallet.

To speed up expansion and supply more recent data in areas of high demand or rapid adoption from contributors, the startup is incentivizing drivers to collect data in those areas. Nelson claims that last week, Hivemapper announced that it would increase rewards in the following cities: Seoul, the Netherlands, Portugal, London, Paris, Madrid, and Tokyo.

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Feature Image Source: Image by Hivemapper