November 10, 2008

NAVTEQ - Flight Update Status Service from your GPS

NAVTEQ is going to be providing more content to those connected GPS units in the new year, including Flight Status reporting. This is cool is you are heading to the airport with that GPS navigator while on a business trip, etc. Think connected GPS units that have a good and frequent connection to the internet.....

NAVTEQ is also positioning itself with "Dynamic POI" for that connected GPS also. This will expand their Fuel Prices work where users will be able to search based on E85 and Diesel on top of the other gasoline grades.

The access to content by the map provider of choice by Garmin, should continue to hang that big old carrot out there for them on the connected GPS front. Not surprising that NAVTEQ is launching this after Nokia bought them. I would imagine this type of work is exactly what Noika had in mind when they acquired NAVTEQ citing location based services as a key development area in the future.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 9, 2008

Garmin Set to Launch Map Subscriptions

Garmin who owns a giant share of the US market, is starting to plan for ways to capture more revenue from that installed base; this time with a Map Subscription. Following on the heels of Navigon's FreshMaps and TomTom's Update Service, Garmin is bringing updated maps to subscribers on a regular basis. I was speculating about a Garmin release in the TomTom announcement thinking that with Navigon also using NAVTEQ maps said to me that it wasn't a map supplier barrier that needed to be broken down; it was an internal Garmin decision based on technical delivery and market strategy. I have talked a lot lately about getting different revenue streams from the GPS after its sale, and map updates have been a good one. The subscription model though brings a large cash flow injection upfront that has marginal costs later on down the line. In these troubled times, it's great to capitalize on the cash flow now. This may also lead to a better marketing position at point of sale, and result in more satisfied users who stick with the brand due to better perceived quality of the product.

The Cost is 119 Euros, which directly translated to the US is pretty high, but my hunch is that the US price will be more competitive with Navigon's $79 price point. The updates are quarterly for the lifetime of your device.

More at YourNav

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September 30, 2008

TomTom Map Subscription Service - Residual Income from PND's


Making a bold move forward, TomTom is essentially launching a map subscription service with quarterly updates, it was announced today by TomTom and can be read about at GPSBusiness News. Like the Navigon FreshMaps service that offers quarterly updates with NAVTEQ data, TomTom is now starting to offer quarterly updates with its TeleAtlas data. (Humm, if TomTom is doing this, and Navigon is using NAVTEQ quarterly updates, then the barrier for Garmin may just be internal, and you've got to wonder that if this is a lucrative idea, they will bust it down and bring it to market too.)

Blades and Razors
If you follow the blades and razor approach that Gillette uses, you start thinking about the hardware as the entry point and the maps as the money maker. When you start to consider that these units are now starting to ship with ultra thin profit margins the idea of selling a map subscription may effectively double the profit per unit given enough time. Big opportunity to get residual income from your installed base too. That 3 year old TomTom ONE is dead to TomTom unless they can sell it maps, and maybe a map subscription at that.

Garmin is starting to use small ads on their devices that are delivered through the TMC data feed from NAVTEQ traffic. When I used the new Garmin Nuvi 755T, I thought the ads were a decent trade-off for the free traffic service that comes with the unit as a result.

I tell you, with the markets fast approaching saturation (in Europe at least), the GPS makers are going to have to strive for something to keep the business models afloat, and grabbing an income stream after the sale could be big when you have millions units out there.

Thanks Jim for sending this in.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 26, 2008

TeleAtlas to Incorporate TomTom's Speed Profile Data


TeleAtlas announced an upgrade to its product line; the inclusion of TomTom's speed profile database into the core mapping dataset. Recall that if you use a TomTom, they ask if they can collect anonymous data from your device, including the actual speeds you drive on roads. That's how TomTom can roll out technology like IQ Routes for more accurate travel times (See my review of the GO 930 with IQ Routes). Let's face it, some roads just don't let you go the speed limit, or alternatively a road with a bunch of stop lights is not going to let you effectively travel at the speed limit.

Interesting move here, and one that I wasn't sure TomTom would allow with its acquisition of their mapping partner, TeleAtlas. If this information as well as the information that is gathered with the MapShare changes, are all effectively shared, the TeleAtlas dataset could take a big step up in usefulness and quality.

This speed data will be available to other customers of TeleAtlas.

Full Press Release Below.......

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September 9, 2008

TeleAtlas Maps India


TeleAtlas announced that they are now covering India with their maps. Not a surprise that India would be a good target as more and more global business is interested in setting up some affiliate there, and the overall wealth of the country continues to grow.

"Tele Atlas' new map offering of India covers the complete national highway network which includes expressways, national highways, and state highways and encompasses approximately 162,000 kilometers. The initial product offering also includes more than 108,000 points of interest (POIs) to help deliver an enriched user experience.

Subsequent database products are planned to include additional key cities and rich POI content. Tele Atlas also will offer an extensive range of enhancement products such as 3D landmarks and detailed city maps, aligning India product offerings with the company's global product offerings."

Full Press Release after the jump...

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 6, 2008

TomTom Maps Upgrade Sale Extended


TomTom is continuing their Map Upgrade sale to encourage folks to get on the right pathway to enlightenment, or something like that. THe Maps are updated both through TomTom Mapshare changes and organic changes that TeleAtlas adds; millions monthly.

Maps of the US are only $59, Maps of US+Canada, $79.

More at TomTom

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2008

TomTom Maps - Update now for 30% off

TomTom is running a discount for those of you who want to update your maps; up to 30% off the update. You can head over to, or use your TomTom HOME application on your PC to update the maps. Not a bad idea if they are over a year old.

At TomTom or download and use the TomTom HOME application to get your maps.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 1, 2008

Google and TeleAtlas in 5-Year Tie Up - Share Map Improvements


TeleAtlas announced that they are in a 5-year agreement with Google to use the TeleAtlas data and maybe more importantly get the Google Map user base to send back map improvements. The MapShare movement on TomTom's side (TeleAtlas' new owner) was a brilliant move to get community involvement in fixing map errors. While the numbers of fixes coming in from MapShare users pale in comparison to the changes initiated by TeleAtlas in-house changes, the program collects potentially obscure changes that it wouldn't normally catch. Extending the community aspect to this error fix makes sense and continues to spread the message that TeleAtlas has up-to-date maps; a perception that they haven't always enjoyed here in the US.

Press Release follows.....

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 28, 2008

Mapping out the details - TeleAtlas Details the Mapping Process

The Boston Globe had a nice article explaining a little bit more about how the TeleAtlas folks create maps and get them from their Road Vans to you on your GPS units. They also mentioned that TeleAtlas is working on 3-D maps:

"Atlas is also moving ahead on its 3-D strategy, showing off maps of New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Imagery collected by its fleet of camera vans has been transformed into a scrolling street map that resembles a video game - think "Grand Theft Auto" without the theft."

They also talked about the 4 times per year updates moving towards real-time updates where you'll be getting changes as they are confirmed. Not hard to do if the map company is owned by the GPS maker (i.e. TomTom and TeleAtlas).

ReadMore at Boston Globe

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 15, 2008

Detailed Arizona TOPO Maps


Some enhanced TOPO maps of Arizona are now available for download. They are Garmin compatible and easily loaded onto handhelds via MapSource. They feature elevation contours in 40ft intervals (equivalent to 24k). The maps also have a fairly full list of landmarks and features. So, while the maps are free, I would recommend a donation (also at the link below) to help out and give a little motivation for more highly detailed maps.

Check out GPSFile Depot for more information.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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