Exploring Local
Mike Dobson of TeleMapics on Local Search and All Things Geospatial

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October 15th, 2009 by MDob

Last time I mentioned Mike Blumenthal and his blog Understanding Google Maps & Local Search. Last weekend, out of the blue, Mike sent me some questions about Google related to my last blog and the “conversation” proceeded to increase in substance as he and some of his colleagues added more questions to the list. With my agreement, the conversation was published today by SearchEngineLand and might be of interest to you – you can find it here.

For many of you, the blog and its contents will be old hat. For others it may be informative. For me, it was fun. I hope you enjoy it, but want to let you know that it is even longer than some of my blogs – of course, you should blame Mike Blumenthal for that, since he is the one who kept asking questions.

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Posted in crowdsourced map data, Geospatial, Google, Google Map Maker, Mapping, Mike Dobson, TeleAtlas

3 Responses

  1. Dan Homerick

    I found it to be a fascinating interview! Thanks for having the patience to go into such depth.

    My pleasure, Dan. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

  2. Marc Prioleau

    Good interview Mike. Google’s intent to build its own map was widely rumored but it was interesting to see how quickly they got to a usable product. It will be interesting to see if they can manage the costs of supporting the map in a creative way. They’ve done a good job of using new models in the past.

    Thanks for your insights, Marc. Google apparently has though a lot about the mapping process and I am looking forward to seeing how well they will be able to update, extend and enhance their spatial data gathering activities.


  3. Steve E.

    While I’ve not gotten through the entire article yet, one point of correction: ETAK was not acquired by GDT. Tele Atlas first acquired ETAK and then later purchased GDT.

    Steve: Right you are and this was also pointed out to me by Jane Clemmons. Even worse, I traveled to Palo Alto to speak with Alain De Taeye (then Chairman of TA) shortly after the ETAK acquistion was announced. The point I was interesed in making in mentioning this history (and which seemed to cloud by memory) was that TA bought ETAK, presumably to help them in the US market, then bought GDT and managed to lose most (but not all) of the talent it had acquired in the ETAK acquisition. In turn TA wound up with GDT personnel managing their US operations, which may have turned the tide against field research. My belief is that this strategy resulted in TA’s data in the U.S. being of lower quality than that of NAVTEQ. Indeed, Google seemed to agree, as it used NAVTEQ data for its U.S. maps until NAVTEQ was acquired by Nokia.

    Thanks for your comment and setting the story straight – and thank you, too, Jane.