September 7, 2010

NAVTEQ to Revolutionize the Way We Get GPS Directions

NAVTEQ has been quietly amassing the capability to revolutionize the way we get our directions from a GPS system, making them more intuitive and easier to understand. The change is in how it offers us directions; making them more human-like or more natural, "Turn Right at the Traffic Light" instead of "Turn Right in 400 Yards". The data would be embedded in the mapping data set that also includes the street pronunciation information alongside information on the

This type of capability requires the collection, interpretation and digitization of map data that is different than the miles of roads, millions of intersections and signs that are currently in the mapping inventory. The new dataset is available in select cities, with plans to add more throughout North America in 2011. While the raw capability exists from NAVTEQ, it is still up to the GPS maker to put the feature into the GPS.

At this writing, both Garmin and Magellan use NAVTEQ maps for stand alone GPS units. Magellan's parent company, Mitac, uses TeleAtlas maps, which may change Magellan's approach to its map sourcing. Recall that NAVTEQ is owned by Nokia.

Below is a video from NAVTEQ that talks about the new mapping capability.

The full press release follows after the jump.....

NAVTEQ Natural Guidance™ enables navigation directions everyone can relate to

NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world today launched a new product that promises to materially change the way navigation systems and applications interact with end users. NAVTEQ Natural Guidance™ breaks new ground by enabling guidance the way humans provide directions to each other--through the use of descriptive reference cues.

Launched at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, NAVTEQ Natural Guidance leapfrogs today's linear navigation instructions--e.g. 'turn right in 50 meters on Kurfuerstendamm--by guiding the way humans instruct each other, through descriptions of orientation points such as distinctive points of interest and landmarks--e.g. 'turn right after the yellow shop" or 'turn right at the traffic signal.' Research shows consumers desire more intuitive and practical directions because it is easier to follow and allows the user to keep their eyes on the road. NAVTEQ Natural Guidance enables applications to use recognizable and easily understandable points of reference close to the decision point to highlight the next maneuver.

"Natural Guidance provides the kind of directions we crave as humans," said Tiffany Treacy, NAVTEQ senior vice president of product management. "It challenges the man-machine status quo of how navigation systems have worked for years by finally enabling the kind of guidance that sounds like it's coming from a friend who is riding along with you. This is a revolutionary first step toward more natural and ultimately more personalized experiences."

Over the past 25 years, NAVTEQ has continually strived to create content specific to navigation that elevates the user experience. Only as an expert and innovative leader in the navigation industry, was NAVTEQ able to create a product that translates user experiences into data and data models that allow applications to generate humanized guidance. NAVTEQ Natural Guidance also employs a variety of importance criteria to help optimize when and how the guidance is presented to consumers. Reference cues can look very different--or be partially or fully obscured--depending on such factors as: which direction the user is approaching, the size of the reference object (a cathedral vs. a corner pub), or whether it is winter or summer (when trees might block the visibility).

NAVTEQ Natural Guidance is currently available for Berlin, Chicago, National Capital Region of Delhi, London, Los Angeles, New York, Munich and Paris with aggressive expansion plans to add more cities throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific by the end of 2011.

NAVTEQ will showcase NAVTEQ Natural Guidance at both a NAVTEQ sponsored press event, where key findings from NAVTEQ's proprietary research will be shared, as well as at the IFA Showstoppers Event on 2nd September.

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Posted by Scott Martin at September 7, 2010 8:52 AM

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