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Tele Atlas Releases First Map with User Changes

’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands — Tele Atlas released the first version of its maps to incorporate changes made by user feedback, and hopes to expand the use of community feedback in future map products.

The newest Tele Atlas map release, called MultiNet version 2008.10, includes more than 50,000 user changes which have been validated by other Tele Atlas sources, said the company. The maps should begin appearing in personal navigation devices (PNDs) in November.

Speaking at a Webcast today, Tele Atlas CEO Bill Henry said the company sees “community feedback” as a key way to update the 10 percent of maps that change annually as the data is “fresher” than many traditional map update sources such as State government data.

Over the past 18 months, 4 million user changes have been submitted to TomTom, which purchased Tele Atlas in June, but only 50,000 user changes have been incorporated into Tele Atlas maps, about 20,000 in North America and the remainder in Europe. This because the company focused on street name and road direction (one-way street changes) initially, said Henry, although Tele Atlas plans to expand the program to other map attributes.

“There are a lot more things we can do with this data. There are over 100 key attributes on our maps today and we’ve only addressed two. And there’s more we can do within those two attributes,” he said, explaining that the company has only had access to this data for four months.

Henry also said, “As the community gets bigger and we get more feedback, we might be able to move even faster.”

Tele Atlas’ community feedback is generated by TomTom’s MapShare feature that lets user mark locations by pressing the PND screen and then noting changes such as an incorrect street name, which may be uploaded by connecting the PND to a PC.

Current users of Tele Atlas maps include Google, Microsoft, Mio, Blaupunkt and BMW. Tele Atlas is also open to receiving feedback from the users of these company’s products, said Rik Temmink, Tele Atlas VP product management

The newest map, MultiNet 2008.10 also features new information on HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes, and allows PNDs to depict oceans, seas and lakes on the map display.