A crowdsourced mapping startup is looking to add ground-level data to its database with the help of truck drivers and motorists. 

Beginning in 2021, Hivemapper will offer cash compensation to individuals that use their Open Dash Cam to “passively collect data” as they drive. 

Presently, Hivemapper operates in 80 countries and is largely aerial-footage based.

“There are two opportunities within the transportation and logistics sector,” said Ariel Seidman, founder and CEO of Hivemapper.

Trucking companies and commercial fleets will be able to act as collectors of data by using the open dash cams to record road and travel data into the Hivemapper network. Additionally, truck drivers can simply use the maps on the Hivemapper network, which include tools, analytics, and information such as traffic laws, heights of loading docks, etc. 

“You can now have all this at your disposal,” Seidman said, “all the visualization, all the analytics to very quickly understand what your road network looks like and what your delivery locations look like. You get a vivid sense of what’s going on.”

If drivers choose to participate in the data collection, they can expect to receive $2 per ‘gold tile’ or preferred locations, and 50 cents for ‘silver tile’ locations. Each tile equates to about one third of a square kilometer. 

According to Seidman, Hivemapper will act as an alternative to map-giants such as Google and Apple Maps, and its network of drivers will allow the maps to be updated four times faster. The driver contributions should also help optimize the Hivemapper maps for truck driver-specific concerns such as bridge heights, and designated truck routes. 

“It’s a little bit addictive,” Seidman continued. 

“You start, you’re excited by the financial incentives, but what we see happening in our collector network is that people stick around for the long term because it’s rewarding to see how all the video you’re capturing is building and refreshing that map.”

You can find out more about opportunities with Hivemapper, here.