The project OpenStreetMap
) was founded by Steve Coast in 2004. It´s goal is to provide geodata stored in a database
that is freely available for everyone (Open Data) and is licenced under the Open Database License.
The license allows you to create free and even commercial maps from that data.
Everyone who is interested can edit the map, and that is how it works. The so called mapper
around the world correct and expand the map constantly. The OpenStreetMap Foundation (founded in 2006) is a non-profit organisation
that make decisions and control the whole project. When you are interested in contributing in OSM, feel free to
and help the community to grow.
Yes it is, because of the above mentioned licence. The map data is like Wikipedia. Freely available for all.
But sometimes it may be necessary for companies and also private individuals to get professional
support directly from the GPS unit vendor. In that case you need to buy a commercial map for example
Those maps may also have other advantages, special features, that you can benefit from. So try it out.