Property search engine Nestoria has launched a

new version

of its site that only displays maps from community geodata project OpenStreetMap (OSM).

The move – a sign of the growing potential of the open source mapping tool – means Nestoria users can view charts from OSM or existing provider Google when searching for properties in the UK and Spain.

Nestoria founder Ed Freyfogle said OSM, which gathers its data through volunteer uploaders, rather than traditional mapmaking methods, would not replace Google on the company’s main search engine.

But he said its coverage in the UK and elsewhere was “gaining momentum”.

“Many people belittle OSM but more and more organisations are starting to see that it is cost effective. At times, it even has better coverage than Google because Google relies on data providers like Tele Atlas and Navteq.”

Nestoria was the first company to start using OSM back in 2006, when it began displaying its maps alongside searches for property on the Isle of Wight. Ed said the integration process (via the Mapstraction API) was simple and took “one or two days”.

But he said Nestoria would not be ditching Google anytime soon:

“We’re not switching completely to OSM – we’re still using Google on our main site. Google continues to innovate and push the standard and it’s hard to see how other providers will keep up.”

Related stories:

Ordnance Survey API nears launch

Nestoria used as an example of Google Maps API

Interview: online mapping guru Ed Parsons

Interview: Ed Freyfogle of Nestoria