Jul 23

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Mapping Data Heats Up: TomTom to Buy Tele Atlas

Reuters is reporting that GPS manufacturer TomTom is attempting to buy data provider Tele Atlas.

The article added the following details on the deal:

The companies said the deal would improve maps and allow new features such as daily map updates and intelligent routing.
Tele Atlas will act as an independent business unit and continue to supply other manufacturers with digital maps and related data, the companies said.

It also states that Microsoft might be interested in making a counter-offer. I would not be surprised if Google did the same. Tele Atlas' main competitor is NAVTEQ. Will NAVTEQ be able to stay independent? Will Google or Microsoft be able to allow themselves to not own this crucial part of the geostack? Both Microsoft and Google have purchased smaller companies that gather data in the past.

Tele Atlas has been playing catch-up to NAVTEQ in many areas, I think that this deal will help them significantly. In January, TomTom released their Map Share product. As they describe it:

TomTom Map Share™ is a proprietary map improvement technology unique to TomTom, which enables users to easily and instantly improve maps. TomTom users can respond in real time to changes in the road network and correct the maps on their TomTom devices accordingly. Thanks to the smart user interface, it is easy to make improvements, such as to mark blocked or unblocked streets, reverse one way traffic or insert new street names, which will instantly take effect.

It's not a stretch to think that soon TomTom users will soon be updating Tele Atlas' data. That would be an incredibly powerful feature that will potentially decrease operating costs while increasing data accuracy and update speed. Perhaps Google should consider buying the TomTom/Tele Atlas -- not NAVTEQ.

[via CrunchGear]

tags: geo, web 2.0  | comments: 0   | Sphere It

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