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Google Remaps, Drops Tele Atlas


Over at APB, Tele Atlas appears to have confirmed that Google has dropped them as a map provider in the USA and is now using in house data.

“Tele Atlas confirms that Google has decided to stop using Tele Atlas map data for the U.S. Google will now use its own map data. Our relationship with Google for map coverage continues outside of the U.S. in dozens of geographies.”

I noticed a few changes last night and couldn’t quite figure out what was happening– but this now explains things. You can also now report map errors to Google through their interface.

Determining overall map quality based on small sample sizes is a dangerous thing, but in the few places I’ve checked I’ve seen numerous mapping errors that are not errors in either the Tele Atlas nor Navteq maps.

There is a certain “map psychology” I’ve seen happen when vendors change mapping providers. People tend to see but not report on improvements, thinking it was an incremental update. But when things get worse you see lots of chat about the deficiencies.

Over the next few weeks I’d expect to see a good number of people complaining about the change saying it is a step backwards in map quality– again, people tend to notice things going backwards more than improvements. But I’d caution against making such hasty conclusions based on such tiny sample sizes. I’ve seen a good number of errors in the new Google Map, but my sample size isn’t big enough yet to draw any statistically relevant conclusion.

6 Responses

  1. According to GPSBusiness News, The contract for Europe will also be terminated soon. AND is finalizing a contract with Google to supply street-level mapping for many of the European countries.

    gatorguy - October 8th, 2009
  2. Wow! Just check their new maps for my area. They are showing alleyways as well as streets. If Google starts selling map data to GPS device makers, this could mean that, someday, I can be routed all the way to my garage rather than front door.

    John - October 8th, 2009
  3. Total lost TeleAtlas revenue from Google could be as much as $75 million going by reported TA revenue breakdowns. Doesn’t sound like a lot of money really. Put in perspective, that would be roughly the total dollar sales of TomTom’s mobile iPhone app so far.

    gatorguy - October 8th, 2009
  4. MapQuest seems to be using OpenStreetMaps in Providence anyway regardless of what the map says. They show road updates that correspond to OSM but not to Navteq or TA.

    The Google move removes the last barrier for Google to provide a free routing service. Routing maps are far more expensive but since the maps are now theirs no problem. They now become a huge competitive threat to TomTom, Garmin, and Navteq. They have the best traffic data. If they have a well designed routing program that avoids traffic the competition is in trouble.

    offthegrid - October 8th, 2009
  5. gatorguy –
    $75M isn’t much?!?!

    Where is that revenue going to come from? If you roll up the value of the 5 year agreement with this loss, it’s really big.

    $75M from the Tom Tom iPhone app??? Really????? Methinks otherwise. Have you seen the Full Power app – 2.99 vs. $99?

    Kate - October 15th, 2009
    • OOPS! You are correct. My math skills need a little refresher course. At the time of my post, TomTom had reportedly sold roughly 80,000 copies of it’s iPhone app. Someone else had mentioned 75,000, so I used the lower number. That of course is closer to $7.5 million and not $75 million. Thanks for pointing out the error in my decimal placement. As for TeleAtlas replacing the lost Google revenue, IMO it is going to be tough. There’s always the possibility that TA’s data may get more widely used distribution for LBS targeted apps, or TeleATlas (perhaps combined with TomTom itself), may end up in someone else’s hands, even a company like Microsoft. That would give TeleAtlas more perceived value at least. Pure speculation on my part, but with Google aggressively targeting map building in conjunction with location-based advertising, something needs to happen with TeleAtlas fairly soon.

      gatorguy - October 16th, 2009

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