All signs indicate that Google is gearing up to be a competitor of Navteq and Teleatlas by using a combination of StreetView, Crowd sourcing and government data. Google just dropped Teleatlas map data usage in the United States and is now using Google data only. In 2008 Google dropped Navteq for US coverage. Both Navteq and Teleatlas have been rumored to be tough to work with, insist on complicated licensing agreements and are very expensive. Both Navteq (owned by Nokia) and teleatlas (owned by TomTom) are also at heavy conflict with their data licensees because they also produce hardware and compete with their customers like Garmin. Readwriteweb has details of some recent Google changes.
This may make for better tech and lower prices but this still leaves the problem that there isn't a free and open solution. We need a passive, free, open crowd sourced global map solution. Open street maps, Google and others don't offer that.
While we are talking about crowd sourcing and Google, checkout our post on Google Crowd sourcing 3d buildings and map repairs (video below)
Talk about this in our crowd sourced map forums.
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