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

NAVTEQ Had Providence Right in January

May 17th, 2010 by MDob

I have to eat “humble pie”, maybe “bumble” pie, today. I received an email this weekend indicating that NAVTEQ had actually fixed the I-195/I-95 interchange in Providence, Rhode Island in its first quarter 2010 release. The emailer told me that the database was released in January 2010. As you can see on the image below, the section of I-195 now being demolished is no longer represented in the NAVTEQ database and the correct reconfiguration of the highway is shown.

In its Janaury database release NAVTEQ had corrected Providence

I feel re-assured that NAVTEQ got it right and did so earlier than its competitors (TeleAtlas and Google), as I had assumed that its field operations would have caught this change early and was stumped that NAVTEQ appeared not to have made the correction. Apparently, the problem was that I did not have access to the contents of NAVTEQ’s latest database release and assumed (incorrectly) that what was being show on their corporate website was the best, most up-to-date data that they had. What a silly assumption! Why would a company want to put their best foot forward in an attempt to build a brand and become a customer facing business? Of course, NAVTEQ is in good company, since OVI Maps (Nokia) and Bing Maps are not yet using NAVTEQ’s most recent database release.

Perhaps more curious is the 2010 copyright date shown on the maps displayed on the NAVTEQ website, even though they are, apparently, using 2009 data. (I suppose we should not confuse the copyright date on the maps with the database release date – even if that is what a casual reader would do).

Maybe NAVTEQ should send that press release it issued on the need to have up-to-date maps to itself, Nokia and Microsoft? By the way, it appears that MapQuest (another NAVTEQ user) has ingested and compiled the NAVTEQ January update, as the geometry shown on its map of Providence appears identical to that shown in the NAVTEQ illustration above.

So, I need to give a “half-apology” to NAVTEQ. They got it right sooner than their competitors (Google and TeleAtlas). I feel bad for having beat on them, as this was based on my misunderstanding of the situation. However, I am not really feeling embarassed, since I still cannot figure out how anyone was supposed to know they resolved the problem, given that NAVTEQ did not (and does not) seem inclined to update their own routing application using their current data Maybe its data integration problems. Who knows?

And Something More

I took a closer look at Google Maps and they have figured out parts of the Providence problem, but not all of it, as you can see below. Maybe those 300 people in Kirkland will help solve this problem?

Let's take US 6 over the river to see Grandma.

While using OVI Maps I ran into a relatively unusual situation. When I searched for Rhode Island, the site responded with a message that it could not find Rhode Island

Where did Rhode Island go?

Or Providence, Rhode Island

No Rhode Island, no Providence, - seems logical

Or New York, New York.

Wait, has the East Coast disappeared?

At that point, I thought that maybe the application was only searching the map being displayed. Since the map on the screen was centered on my area, I entered Long Beach, which was shown on the map, but no luck – no Long Beach.

Online mapping, you just gotta love it.

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Posted in Authority and mapping, Bing maps, Navteq, Nokia, Nokia Ovi Maps, routing and navigation, TeleAtlas

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