There has been a lot of discussion about community generated maps. Cloudmade and openstreetmap have made immense progress, but their big drawback is that it required active user input to have the data be routable or reliable. Teleatlas has jumpstarted community generated maps by releasing a paid passively generated database that has been created and augmented by free passive user inputs. (teleatlas press release )
In this Youtube interview Rik Temmink boasts 7 million reports in 18 months which have generated 1 trillion gps measurements on the road network. He describes the beauty of passive user inputs.
The big drawback here is that Teletlas is now charging for these maps generated by their users. Why can't we hack our PDAs, phones, and other devices to create free maps? Most people don't think about the super high costs of map data. Hopefully the community can unite:
- Collecting and sharing GPS data
- Writing an algorithm to process this data into routable and usable information
- Cleaning up open source algorithms to use this new data
- Make the data free and globally available