Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ a duopoly no more

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.

About Rich Owings

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


  1. I always found the Tele Atlas maps of inferior accuracy compared to the previously-used NAVTEQ maps. One error was bad enough that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory poked fun at how Google Maps/Tele Atlas showed the facility 18mi away from its actual location (scroll to bottom of link below).

    Google’s new maps are a mixed bag from what I’ve seen in my area (Chicago). My street has the wrong name (same error as in TIGER data), and a conference center is shown as a college that closed 40 years ago. Both errors were reported using Google’s handy-dandy error reporting tool.

  2. Navigation Enthusiast says:

    May be the best prevail. Many of you know NAVTEQ is here for long time and known for their quality data and they are poineers. Just like what Google is for their search capability and Apple is for their consumer driven innovation.

  3. Rich Owings says:

    This is just anecdotal, but it seems like Tele Atlas does have more deficiencies in rural areas.

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