This has been an interesting week for those of us following the geospatial data giants that provide the road network data found on most automotive GPS navigators. NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas have long been regarded as a virtual duopoly, and it was only two short years ago that a bidding war erupted, with TomTom acquiring Tele Atlas and Nokia buying NAVTEQ.
But all of a sudden we have two new, huge players in the market. A week ago, it was revealed that Apple had purchased Placebase, resulting in speculation that they would dump Google Maps from the iPhone. Then yesterday Tele Atlas confirmed rumors that Google had dropped them in the U.S., with Google now using their own data. I hesitate to speculate, but the places this could go just boggles the mind.