Here is the problem: These efforts at creating an underlying database of places are duplicative, and any competitive advantage any single company gets from being more comprehensive than the rest will be short-lived at best. It is time for an open database of places which all companies and developers can both contribute to and borrow from.
Indeed. But why should the driver be whether it is to these companies competitive advantage or not? How about thinking about what is to the advantage of the rest of us - i.e. the people contributing the information in the first place?
But in order for such a database to be useful, the biggest and fastest-growing Geo companies need to contribute to it.