Tom Tom has made an offer to purchase Tele Atlas, see the press release.
What does this mean to us the humble users? Well this could be a major step in the right direction, as Tele Atlas need lots of data to produce their products, and TOM TOM collect lots of data.
So again, what will that provide us?
Most technology consumes data. Data that is produced outside of the technological mindset. Yes there have been collaborations and yes there have been many occasions where data provided the vehicle for technology. But in the main, the data is produced and the consumers consume, and we don't get a say.
Maybe, just maybe we will start to see some fast advancements in consumer lead cartography. The biggest problem with SatNav is the recency of the data. Having worked in the GI industry I suspect one of the big hold ups is the commercial aspect of procuring such data. I don't know what the arrangement the 2 companies had before, and who lead who in the technological development, but if TOM TOM had to drag Tele Atles with them, this will make life so much easier, faster and cheaper for them. The same can be said if the relationship was reversed.
We might just start to see roads and POI's appear/disappear faster. Maybe other information may be available, such as temporary diversion (I have one at the moment on my route to work) and maybe we will even start to see preferred routes being published.
Alternatively, if the relationship was not as such, and the purchase is just to stem the economic effects from a slow down in the take up of SatNav due to it's popularity (most people who need it, already own one) then maybe we will see no change! lets hope not.
Written and submitted from home