Qwant has introduced Qwant Maps, a privacy-conscious alternative to Google Maps
For those of you that have been looking for more competition to Google Maps in the digital cartography space, here's some good news!
The company behind European privacy-focused search engine Qwant has launched a public beta version of its new open source Qwant Maps initiative. The service touts the ability "to search for routes and make trips without being tracked" and is available for both desktop and mobile form factors.
The service utilizes OpenStreetMap's data and provides a more elegant and intuitive interface to use with that data. Unlike services such as Google Maps and Bing Maps, Qwant makes the following promise in its announcement press release for Qwant Maps:
"Qwant Maps does not keep any user travel history and does not perform any analysis of the trips made."
This is an important differentiator from the most popular map services provided by the likes of Google and Microsoft that, as Qwant also points out, "massively collect our movements to analyze them and use them for targeted advertising purposes." Though Apple Maps is privacy-focused like all of Apple's in-house services, not everyone has access to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to take advantage of their privacy-focused apps and services.
Though Qwant does not save any travel history or analyze trips you go on, it still uses its "Masq" service that's currently in alpha to store your preferences and personal data directly on your device fully encrypted.
Further coverage: Quant Maps official press release