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TomTom Connects With Google, But Not The Internet

tomtomt on google

TomTom, who’s currently in a bidding war with Garmin for data company Tele Atlas, has announced integration plans with Google (Radar post). As reported in the LA Times:

TomTom said its users would be able to transfer information to their devices when they are connected to the Internet with one mouse click and then view the location on their TomTom.

It said it would continue to explore partnerships with third parties to expand the personalization options it offers.

The tie-up would for instance allow TomTom users to plan a city trip by searching for accommodation, restaurants or museums using Google Maps on their computer and then transfer the places they want to visit to their TomTom device.

TomTom’s devices do include so-called “points of interest” — such as restaurants, petrol stations and parking garages — but if a user has not regularly bought map upgrades, such data can become out of date.

Industry experts have also argued that consumers usually do not sit in their cars using a navigation system to plan trips, and are much more likely to use their computers at home, where they have full Internet access.

The article is light on details, but poking around on Tomtom’s site more information can be found. Unlike the soon-to-be-released Dash, Tomtom is not announcing an internet-connected GPS (my first assumption). The Tomtom devices will have to be connected to your PC or Mac and synced via TomTom Home. The software package will also help users download new maps, configure the device and upload map data corrections (Mapshare — a program that will be especially important if TomTom gets Tele Atlas).

It’s impressive to see TomTom opening up their devices to allow people to add their own POIs (Points of Interest) easily, but it’s not enough. Nokia, RIM, and especially Dash are releasing internet-connected GPSs. In many cases my iPhone will serve me just as well as an in-dash GPS. TomTom, Garmin and Magellan should definitely take note and give me the internet in my car.

You can see a video of the integration in action after the jump.

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  • Sven

    FYI, Garmin already “gave up” the Tele Atlas acquisition war with Tom Tom about two weeks ago.

  • http://www.tomtom.com tomtom admin

    The URL to this movie has been changed. Please see: http://youtube.com/watch?v=HcNiR8Ax200 or view it on our website at: http://www.tomtom.com/page/tomtom-on-google-maps

  • http://www.thinkfold.com Guy Dickinson

    Actually, TomTom’s can ‘do internet’ on their devices in a non-integrated way – I have a two year old TomTom ‘One’ (the cheapest device they offer) and for a ‚Ǩ50 annual fee, it uses bluetooth, paired with my 3G phone, to create a data connection to their web server, which pulls down realtime traffic data (and performs route re-planning).

    So they have an established internet infrastructure, in all recent devices; they’re just not choosing to use it beyond narrow applications, imho.

    I’ve craved a way to get better quality ‘Points of Interest’ into my TomTom – they seem to have restricted their restaurant data, for example, to paid listings – I’d much rather pay for a TimeOut or Fodors guide to be uploaded…

    I often perform ‘in car’ lookups on local PoI’s. I have a European map, and so if I’m in Italy, a quick ‘best restaurant as recommended by Fodors, within 20km’ PoI lookup would be incredibly useful…I wouldn’t be able to anticipate and plan those kind of requirements in advance (but I could anticipate the *types* of info I would like to upload in advance.

    Another feature I miss would be retrospective updating of PoI’s – I travel to a bunch of places – if I could add them to the TomTom, and when back on my PC, I could edit a set of data around that trip (heck, it could even be tied into TripAdvisor type user profiles).

    Open up this data TomTom – you (and I) are sitting on a goldmine of useful stuff!

  • http://radar.oreilly.com/brady brady

    @Sven
    Thank! I must have missed that update.

  • http://michal.wendrowski.com Michal Wendrowski

    I already like the Google Maps solution available to smartphones. If your phone supports GPS or bluetooth, you can connect Google Maps to your GPS device and see your current location on the map. Works great!

    Best regards

    Michal

  • Abel

    It’s nice to connect directly from Google Maps, but bringing web data to GPS is not exactly a novel idea. Web mapping sites like SundayMorningRides.com have been sharing GPS data online for a while – including support for Garmin and Magellan.