Thursday, December 18, 2008

Navteq versus Tele Atlas maps

We discuss Google Maps, and the mashups Google has encouraged people to build. Initially, Google used map data from a company called Navteq, but Nokia acquired Navteq, and Google has now switched to Tele Atlas for their maps.

Note that the mapping services are not identical. Microsoft uses Navteq for their Live maps, so we can compare their map of the CSUDH campus dorm area with Google's Tele Atlas map. As you see, Navteq (right hand side) maps and labels Unity Drive and Hillside Court and they show the street addresses on Central Avenue.
This is not to imply that Navteq maps are better everywhere. Both companies have crews constantly driving the routes and updating the maps, and both invite users to submit changes online. Competition between Google and Nokia, which sells 40% of mobile phones, may lead to differentiation in map features and completeness.

Is Navteq or Tele Atlas more accurate in the neighborhood where you live? If you know of a change -- say a street becoming one way -- would you inform either Tele Atlas or Navteq?

(Thanks to Ron Jimenez for suggesting this post).