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Mike Dobson of TeleMapics on Local Search and All Things Geospatial

Nokia News and NAVTEQ Does It Again

May 14th, 2010 by MDob

I usually write this blog on Thursday, but yesterday was my birthday and I took the day off. In fact, I am taking today off as well, so I am not going to write about anything complex and that usually means I am going to pick on someone. I did not go to bed until 0330 this morning, so I am not sure that I have any complex ideas in me anyway (no comments please). However, I checked my email before retiring this morning and found a link to a press release from one of my favorite companies – NAVTEQ (as in the Providence, Rhode Island NAVTEQs). Well, we will get back to NAVTEQ in a minute.

Earlier this week, I noticed another press release indicating that Nokia had reorganized its top management (again). However, inside of the release was a little nugget and here it is:

“Nokia has also appointed Rich Green to the position of Chief Technology Officer, assuming responsibility for driving common technology architecture across Nokia. Green brings a wealth of experience from his time in Silicon Valley, including a number of years at Sun Microsystems.”

This may not be of significance to you, but Rich did his M.A. in geography with me and was also my assistant when I was teaching at the State University of New York at Albany. Before accepting the position at Nokia, Rich was VP of JAVA at Sun and their EVP for software (he left prior to the announcement of the Oracle deal).

The notice about Nokia started me thinking about all of the great students that I met during my residence at SUNYA. Dr. Terry Slocum, who preceded Rich as my assistant and Master’s student, went on to the University of Kansas and made a career of it, recently stepping down as department chair. Dr. Matt McGranaghan, my assistant and M.A., student following Rich Green, did his PhD at Buffalo and then headed to the University of Hawaii, where, after many years of service, he recently stepped down as chairman. These three were just a few of the terrific students that I was “gifted” with at Albany. Many others are now working in industry or government service and focused on important issues in mapping, GIS and technology. While I have had some measure of success as a professional, the feeling of, perhaps, having helped my students on their way to accomplishing meaningful goals (for themselves and society) is one of the most important of the “rewards that I have garnered in my career. So, to my former “students” – I am proud of all of you and thanks for taking the challenge.

Now back to NAVTEQ

You know, I hate to do this, but finding comedy material in mapping, like that provided recently by NAVTEQ, is rare. I suspect that Jay Leno is starting to think about doing one-liners on the mapping community, as NAVTEQ’s most recent press release is like having George Bush as president again.)

Below is a selection of paragraphs from the NAVTEQ press release, although you can find the whole thing here if you want to see it without my snide comments (which are shown with italics) .

“NAVTEQ Reminds Consumers of the Importance of GPS Map Updates during the Summer Driving Season
Map Updates Now Available for In-Vehicle Systems and Garmin GPS Devices at Amazon.com, Best Buy, BestBuy.com, Costco.com, Garmin.com and NAVTEQ.com” (Is this the longest press release title ever?)

“Chicago, IL – May 12, 2010 – NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world, reminds drivers to update the maps in their GPS devices in order to save time, money and gas during this summer’s driving season.” (Unless you will be driving in Providence and other select locations.)

“While money spent on fuel is likely to increase, NAVTEQ offers a simple way to save gas, money and time by purchasing a map update for GPS navigaton systems. Map updates are important so that an in-dash navigation system or portable navigation device has the most up-to-date information it needs in order to work most efficiently. A 2009 NAVTEQ Study* has shown that vehicles with regularly used GPS navigation systems use 12% less fuel than those that do not which can lead to out-of-pocket savings of over $250.00.” (Of course, it appears that using NAVTEQ data in Providence could lead to heaps of frustration. (By the way, I copied and pasted the text from the original release and the spelling errors were in the published text. Duane – notice “navigaton” in the first sentence of this paragraph – apparently I am not the only one who needs a copy editor.))

“Map updates help the “shortest“ and “fastest“ route functions work most efficently, minimizing extra miles driven and time on the road. Updates also save drivers time by providing the closest gas stations, restaurants, hotels and other important points of interest.” (Except, of course, in Providence and other selected areas where NAVTEQ’s lack of map updating” may maximize miles driven and time on the road. Of course, you might be able to get to your destination if you opted to eliminate travel on freeways and interstates. Indeed, truck drivers tell me that the cross-country by surface street route is growing in popularity with NT customers.)

“With today’s economic realities and busy lifestyles, drivers can’t afford to waste gas driving around with outdated maps,” said Lonnie Arima, VP North America Channel Sales Development, NAVTEQ. “A map update provides the most accurate, up-to-date road and points of interest information so drivers can efficiently reach their destinations.” (Did he really say “outdated maps”? Did he infer the NAVTEQ maps are up-to-date? I love marketing-speak.)

Now, you know what’s coming next, don’t you?

I thought NAVTEQ might fix this for my birthday.  Guess not.

The image above was taken around 0930 AM PDT this morning, May 14, 2010. I have to thank NAVTEQ for extending the fun that started with my birthday and continued today, thanks to their press release. You know, the image above looks a lot like the one I captured and posted here on February 25, 2010, except that this one shows traffic flowing across the new I-195 (which is labeled India Street on the NAVTEQ map and they must be wondering why all that traffic is flowing across such a small arterial).

Unfortunately, when I requested a route from an address in East Providence, Rhode Island to Cranston, Rhode Island, the suggested path took me across the loop that is being razed and no longer connects I-195 with I-95 (see my last blog for a photo). I sure hope that all those people who saw the NAVTEQ release and bought the update are pleased with the result (which they might be, if they do not drive in Rhode Island or other select areas).

Next week (probably Tuesday), I will delay my intended blog topic, because I have some information to share from Maponics that I think you might find interesting. In addition, and unrelated to Maponics, have you noticed all this stuff about parcels going on out there? Interesting.

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Posted in Authority and mapping, Navteq, Nokia, routing and navigation

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