Google Maps to use proprietary data in the US

Google Maps is no longer using Tele Atlas as a map data provider in the United States, we learned today. This change was explained in detail in a post from Andrew Lookingbill, Software Engineer with the Mountain View company on a Google blog:
Google Maps to use proprietary data in the US

"Today you may notice that the United States looks a bit different in Google Maps -- all of that new green park land was probably a giveaway. That's because we've worked directly with a wide range of authoritative information sources to create a new base map dataset. In our experience, these organizations that create the data do the best job of keeping it accurate and up-to-date.For example, in the US there are a number of

publicly accessible geospatial datasets created by the government for the Census, land surveying, and transportation. These datasets provide information on everything from road networks and water bodies to toll roads and bridges. By integrating this information, and working with specialized data sources like the USDA Forest Service's Forest Boundaries and the US Geological Survey's National Hydrography Dataset, we've been able to expand and improve features in our maps like parks and water bodies.

Satellite, aerial, and Street View imagery also helped. With overhead imagery, we could zoom in on roadway details to figure out details like the size of the road. Our Street View imagery, which you know as a tool to help you explore new places, turns out to be very helpful to understand road restrictions and confirm street data by reading street signs."

What has been expected for some times is now a reality and we guess that the United States is only the first part of the plan for Google: other countries will come in due course. The next question that comes to mind is when is Google releasing its own turn-by-turn navigation software? That might come sooner than what everybody expected so far...

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