Yesterday Brady Forrest from O’Reilly Media led a great conversation on This Week in Google on TWiT.tv on open mapping and the growing discussion around Google Maps versus OpenStreetMap. Of course Google’s new pricing came up as one of the driving factors behind companies like StreetEasy and foursquare switching to alternatives, but much of the conversation was also around the benefits of using open data - instead of proprietary - and the flexibility that allows.

One of the things that’s happening with OpenStreetMap is that people will start to look around and go, oh wait a minute, I’m going from free with Google Maps to suddenly I have to pay in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. Is there another option? And when they see OpenStreetMap suddenly they’re like oh, but I can have a little more control.

We were psyched for out tools to get a generous shout out as not only alternatives to Google Maps, but also open source tools that help people make better, custom maps.

But the people who are really going to capitalize on the switch to OpenStreetMap are Development Seed, which is a company working out of DC run by this guy Eric Gundersen, and that’s who StreetEasy and foursquare both used. I was chatting with him the other day, and it’s really, in the past year, the data has gotten better and the open stack has gotten better. Leaflet is a JavaScript control for maps, MapBox is Development Seed’s product that they serve the maps from, and then TileMill which lets you make your own tiles.

You can watch the whole segment here, starting at the 48 minute mark.

We’re excited to be at the Where2.0 conference next month to talk more with folks about open geo data, how we’re helping improve OpenStreetMap data, and how to use our tools like TileMill, MapBox, and MapBox Streets. Eric and Tom will give a keynote presentation on designing fast and beautiful maps, and a workshop on making web maps with open source tools. We’ll post more details here on the conference in the coming weeks.