I just finished reading Side-by-side images expose a glitch in Google’s maps which highlights some shortcomings of Google Maps (GM), which the writer call as "glitches".
I find that amusing because I often hear the same assertions against OSM. Immediately, I wondered how the OSM community is faring in those same areas:
Morro dos Prazeres
Nomgon, Ömnögovi Province, Gobi
So, is OSM, at large - and in those specific areas, doing any better than GM, right now? No, not really. Not yet.
We all know that it's the local community that makes the real difference, and it's unlikely there's any active ones there, hence the very bare coverage.
In the long run, as soon as these areas do get better data, the Open nature of the data license provided by OSM makes it superior to what GM may offer.
While the article decries about the lack of data, and call these communities "invisible" from GM (and their end-users.) The writer may not have known why OSM is the platform of choice by many humanitarian organizations.
When communities recognize the need to become "visible" by being depicted in public maps, to have a voice in governance, they are very welcome to do so in OSM. The community mapping efforts of the Kibera project in Nairobi, Kenya, its empowerment of the community that's called the largest slum in Africa proves that. And that effort is happening in many nooks and corners all over the world. External actors could introduce OSM mapping, but it can only be sustained by an active community of contributors and end-users.
Kibera - from blank spot, to one of the most densest mapped neighbourhoods in OSM today. © 2017 © OpenStreetMap.org contributors
As a commercial enterprise, GM cannot be faulted for their underlying (commercial) reasons for doing things.
In OSM, I'd like to think we map simply because we can.