Photo Illustration by Tom McKeith Photo Illustration by Tom McKeith

The upcoming release of the new iPhone 5 (release date still unknown), could expose those cities that don’t share open data, The Atlantic Cities has pointed out.

Starting with the as-yet-unreleased Apple iOS 6, the company is planning to ditch Google Maps and replace it with its own mapping software. Apple’s new mapping software will not include public transit navigation, so unlike Google Maps — which has spent the past seven years working with cities to offer this information to its users —  Apple will need to rely on third-party developers to develop apps that make use of open data offered by city governments.

Here’s the rub, as The Atlantic Cities astutely observes: Many large cities — such as Atlanta, Phoenix and Detroit — do not offer open data about public transit systems, but these cities do work with Google to provide that information.

This could result in increased public awareness about open data, as iPhone users upset about lost mapping functionality could begin requesting that their city offer open data sets. Or they might just switch to Android.

[For in-depth reporting on the issue, read the Atlantic Cities article about the new iPhone's effect on the world of open data.]