Monday, December 26, 2005

Digital Map Providers

A recent change in the map provider by Google Maps triggered an interesting discussion about the quality and precision of different data providers.

Because of the huge effort required to keep this data up-to-date, the free TIGER database is asking for help, private companies like Navteq (previously NavTech) used by the majority of car navigation systems and TeleAtlas are the main digital map providers in US. According to this great article DeLorme used GDT (acquired by TeleAtlas) in its products, but moved back to the TIGER database plus their own updates.

There are guys out there driving around with GPS as a full-time job to keep this map data without many holes, exploring new developments, streets and changes in traffic roads as this story describes how these street maps are compiled by NavTeq and TeleAtlas.

Telcontar develops Drill Down Server used in maps provided by Google, Yahoo, Rand McNally and AskJeeves. It supplies geocoding, routing, spatial search plus traffic data for road conditions and detours.

In its most recent issue, in an article about Stanley, the driverless Touareg that won the Darpa competiton Wired gives us a glimpse of what Intel and NavTeq are working on: NavTeq is not only checking on new streets and road directions but also slope, road width and speed limits so you can in the future let your car take you wherever you choose so you can enjoy the view.

No comments: