Sunday, March 18, 2012

Google and the business of map data collection

A lengthy and detailed interview with Mike Dobosn of TeleMapics has been posted at Search Engine Land, where the map data insider hypothesizes about Google Map’s data sources. What’s really fascinating though, is the peek inside the business of collecting and verifying map data. I may have to print this one out and read it several times. If you have any serious interest in the subject, this one is well worth your time. Here are a few tidbits:

On the collection of “anonymized” cell phone data:

“Yes, I know that it is collected anonymously, but if that track starts out at the same house each day and returns to the same house each night, doesn’t it suggest where you live? For that reason, at least one of the major PND companies, whose users have agreed to tracking, shaves the first two minutes and the last two minutes off of every path. Does everyone follow this standard? I don’t know, but everyone should be interested in how the DNA of their GPS traces are “neutered” by the companies using them. Further, the four minutes of data thrown away probably contains really useful information about local streets, but so it goes.” 

On TeleAtlas vs. NAVTEQ:

“It is my take (and I may not be correct in this, but I think I am) that TeleAtlas has bad data because they fell for the corporate line conveyed by their acquisition GDT (Geographic Data Technologies) that data mining could solve most map database compilation problems. TeleAtlas never fully committed to field vans and field research in the U.S. and fell far behind Navteq—whose data collection efforts are firmly rooted in data collection in the field – because they have been unable to find anything better.

As noted previously, TA added 1.25 million updates to its database related to probe and MapShare contributed corrections. so their data may be improving.”

The full article is titled Tectonic Shifts Altering The Terrain At Google Maps

Via @justindavey

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

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