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Who Makes MapQuest's Maps?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the just-a-couple-of-dudes dept.

Businesses 338

carpoolio writes "TechTV has an interesting story about the company that builds the mapping technology behind popular map services like Mapquest. The company, Navigation Technologies, is decidedly low-tech in its approach to making its maps: two people in a car drive around endlessly, inputting street information and landmarks into databases. Navtech's map databases are used in everything from Garmin GPS units to Alpine in-dash auto navigation systems. So next time you turn the wrong way down a one-way street, know that there are real people behind the controls."

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Don't forget... (-1)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409858)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

They hire (4, Funny)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409862)

They currently have an opening for Associate Field Analyst in Las Vegas, NV [navtech.com] . Good luck finding anyone willing to visit each and every strip club and bar in town, write down their addresses, and get paid while you're doing it.

Apparently they have been looking for someone to do that since June.

Re:They hire (4, Funny)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409976)

>Good luck finding anyone willing to visit each and every strip club and bar in town,

I do this for free already.

Re:They hire (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410069)

How do you do it for free?!? I'd like to know how to get in free. They always make me pay a cover and buy $5 watered-down sodas.

Re:They hire tsarkon reports (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410086)

Us adults with things like driver's licenses and responsibilities don't have these ridiculous fantasies about mapping bars, strip clubs and brothels. No, we've grown up a bit. We thing about things like COMPENSATION, which, given the job market, a posting that stays up that long indicates either the pay is insultingly low given the requirements to perform the job or the local economy is not as bad as the parent company may think.

Either way, you should go for it. Nothing can be lower paying than Burger King fry boy, and you dont have to wear the hair net or the cardboard crown to manage your fronds of greasy unwashed locks.

Re:They hire tsarkon reports (2, Offtopic)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410162)

I'd mod this flamebait, but I'm just as bitter as you are, homeboy. I've gone from respected sysadmin to considering renting the use of my bodily orificies to pay my rent.

*sigh*

Re:They hire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410126)

two people in a car drive around endlessly, inputting street information and landmarks into databases.

I'm willing to bet these two people are getting stoned on the job (that's what I'd be doing anyways). No wonder there's so much stuff missing from Mapquest and other map sites.

Re:They hire (4, Funny)

cmallinson (538852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410151)

Good luck finding anyone willing to visit each and every strip club and bar in town, write down their addresses, and get paid while you're doing it.

If only there were some sort of database that listed businesses and their addresses. Maybe we could even get phone numbers in there and put everything in a book ... a yellow book.

Re:They hire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410217)

"a yellow book."

Now that is just crazy talk!

Re:They hire (4, Interesting)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410177)

Man, I want the job of those that just drive around with a GPS and record their track and what's out there. Especially on those nice long interstate hauls. Road trip!

Seriously, this is both interesting and disappointing. I've been working, as a hobby, on a Palm-based GPS mapping program. The reason I'm not making much progress is because even when I'm done it's not going to be very useful without map data which is probably not available for free. I had hoped there was some hi-tech way to snag decent map data (at least the roads themselves) perhaps by digitally analyzing satellite photos, etc. But this is a low-tech approach which certainly suggests to me that there's no realistic way I could come up with nationwide road data for my Palm app.

Oh well.

Re:They hire (4, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410224)

Sure there is. What we need is an "open source" map. Have anyone who wants upload their GPS "track" data to a central site. A little data massaging will be able to use the average of plots to determine major roads/highways, and a few volunteers could add names and addressing schemes. Maybe the individual users could even supply those if they wanted, with another averaging system to determine the correct name of the street based on percentages...

It could work. Would be a major, major project, though.

Budget issues? (2, Funny)

Empiric (675968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409863)

...two people in a car drive around endlessly...

And I thought my deadlines were unreasonable.

Directional issues? (1)

harriet nyborg (656409) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409933)

McLain helps keep track of where they've been and where they need to go, but she says she's best behind the wheel. "Personally I don't have a very good sense of direction. I just get lost even if I have a map," she says. When asked if being directionally challenged makes her the perfect candidate for this job, she's very enthusiastic. "I know what the most confused driver needs to know," she says. which of course is nothing. this isn't very reassuring.

Re:Budget issues? (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410062)

...two people in a car drive around endlessly...

Sounds like a job for the undead.

Those 2 are the ones (-1, Troll)

nberardi (199555) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409866)

So those 2 are the ones that always get me lost. Oh yeah first post too. :)

YOU FAIL IT (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409916)

And badly, at that. Maybe MapQuest can give you directions to the top of the thread next time.

Re:Those 2 are the ones (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409970)

MOD up this one 5 Funny...lol, idiot failed it....ahahahahahahaaaaaa

That must be why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409871)

They've place my address about a half mile down the road from where it is.

Hmmm.... (1, Flamebait)

PurdueGraphicsMan (722107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409879)

two people in a car drive around endlessly, inputting street information and landmarks into databases.

I WANT this job!

cool (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409891)

can i sue for going the wrong way? :)

Perhaps a more apt question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409948)

Perhaps a more apt question would be, can we sue you for being a moron?

Collaborative mapping (5, Interesting)

asmithmd1 (239950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409901)

With a GPS receiver in many cell phones we need to figure out how we all can collaborate on creating maps. Here [gadgeteer.org] is a map I created with the data from my cell phone over the course of a couple of months. If everyone contributed instead of the data from a few people driving around we could pool the collective data and have great, open maps. This [ulocate.com] service is free until the end of the year, if everyone who can signed up and we pool the locations we would have a great map (not to mention traffic info.)

Re:Collaborative mapping (2, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409923)

If you could only find a way to Wiki map collaboration. Now THAT would be way kool.

sound familiar. (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409946)


And for every mile I drive I get .02 cents sent to any credit card I choose.

re: collaborative mapping (1)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410003)

heh...i believe you'd have to call that flash mapping, wouldn't you?

in all seriousness though: great idea, this.

ed

I can see/hear it now (4, Funny)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410015)

With a GPS receiver in many cell phones we need to figure out how we all can collaborate on creating maps.

"Can you hear me now? I'm on Main and First...."
"Can you hear me now? I'm on Main and Second...."
"Can you hear me now? I'm on Main and Third...."

Re:Collaborative mapping (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410023)

It's not all as simple as it seems. Figuring out where all the roads are is easy, but if you RTFA, you'll see that coding everything takes twice as long as that. Somebody has to enter the street names, speed limits, address ranges, etc. And don't forget about deleting old roads that no longer exist!

Re:Collaborative mapping (2, Insightful)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410226)

I don't think they actually input speed limits, as I've been on many trips that claim 10+ hours, and it takes about 7 at the speed limit, no matter the traffic.

Re:Collaborative mapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410035)

So, you either live or work in D.C's north suburbs?

Wrong approach (2, Insightful)

SheldonYoung (25077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410051)

Very close to every road is already digitized in the computers of municipalities, fedral and other government agencies. What we need isn't a swarm of GSP receivers but get the information into once place and make it public. The information already exists in pieces and it needs to be coordinated and released.

Satellite Mapping: Keyhole, MapQuest, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410092)

Hi.

MapQuest gives you an aerial view of the address that you want in non-real time.

There was once a web site that provides an aerial view of an USA address. This web site was unique in the sense that it provided near real-time views. The views were updated once every 30 minutes.

Does anyone remember what is the URL of near real-time web site is? Thanks.

Cool map (1)

OnlyLiesOnSundays (722124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410179)

that's a pretty neat map - I like how you can _almost_make out the Beltway ;-)

Re:Collaborative mapping (5, Funny)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410201)

Oh great. I can see the phone calls from my ex now...

Answering machine: "Thank you for calling. Leave a message. (BEEP)"

Ex: "Hello? I know you're there! I just checked your tracking web blog and it says you're there! Pick up the damn phone! I want to talk to you now! Pick it up! Pick it up! God damn you pick up the damn phone now! Your tracking web blog says you're three feet from this answering machine so pick up the god damn phone now!"

Gives new meaning (1)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409905)

To the saying:

I've been everywhere man....

Congrats to Johnny Cash on all of his recent CMA awards. A great singer who will be missed.

Those bastards... (1, Funny)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409910)

Have gotten me lost so many times!

Re:Those bastards... (1)

lurker412 (706164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410109)

The driving directions are often mistaken, generally because they do not always take into account one-way streets and prohibited turns. So the simple solution is to just use the maps and figure out the rest by yourself. Just like you used to five years ago. Remember?

Re:Those bastards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410137)

And their maps don't work properly in Konqueror.

Jessica Lynch violated by Greased Yoda Doll! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409920)

Ouch...that smarts [nydailynews.com]

Re:Jessica Lynch violated by Greased Yoda Doll! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410009)

errr, no, Jessica Lynch was told that she was raped by people that have a proven track record of faulty intelligence being erroneously used to falsify jingoistic policies.

She says she doesn't remember anything.

Re:Jessica Lynch violated by Greased Yoda Doll! (-1, Offtopic)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410129)

She says she doesn't remember anything.

Agreed. Even worse, it's incredibly bad taste to leak out information like this now before her wedding.

I'm rather sure that soon-to-be-husband does not want to see the media discussing how his young and pretty bride was ass-raped in Iraq.

hmm... i wonder... (4, Funny)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409924)

yeah, but what do THEY use for their directions?

I'd make a joke (2, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409926)

My first impulse is to crack a joke about this, but upon second consideration...

That sounds like an unbelievably sweet job; where do I send a resume? (And to think: all those pointless roadtrips and all that skipping school could come in handy.)

Re:I'd make a joke (1, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410021)

> My first impulse is to crack a joke about this,

They should hook up with that cellphone guy, "Can you hear me, now?" He seems to go everywhere, already, anyway, right?

Re:I'd make a joke (4, Funny)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410208)

The best part is that this would be a hard job to send overseas! Built in job security!

live data analysis???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409928)

So if they get into a car accident while driving around making these maps and keeping them updated, does that accident info get uploaded into traffic.com's database and report it live on their website?

Hmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409939)

Do they have a page you can e-mail to for corrections?

Someone really ought to tell them about the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. They did some new construction over there, and now mapquest's directions around downtown Houston will occationally have you driving through the convention center.

Thanx

-- super ugly ultraman

Topographical (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409951)

Has any company out there used topographical maps to maps 3D render of areas? And maps?

Most of these maps have dots for houses, green for forest, and lines for elevation it would seems you could scan this in and make some neat maps. Beyond me of course but is anyone doing this sort of thing?

So that's whose fault it is (4, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409957)

My car has one of these things in it - the map systems runs of a data DVD rom in the boot (part of the CD changer assembly).

As a result I have been driving in Boston for 3 months and can't find my way from end to end, unlike every other place I have lived in (I can drive around NYC, London, Cambridgeshire and Lancashire with no map no problem). I have no idea what connects to where at all.

You need that period of getting lost all the time when you first move somewhere to really learn it, rely too much on GPS nav and you will never know the city properly :o(

Cool for the odd weekend, but overreliance will cripple your direction sense. And worst of all, now I have lived here for so long I can't exactly switch it off and be late for everything - no excuse anymore.

Now I'm stuck forever buying map upgrades and newer and better systems at vast cost - it's a conspiracy to lock you in I tells ya, get out whilst the goings good.

I'm surprised they don't use UPS, FedEx (5, Insightful)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409958)

I'm suprised they don't strike up a deal with UPS, FedEx, and other companies that travel around alot that allows them to hook up receivers and use it to grab data that they can compare to their db.

Should be easy to tell if a street is new, changed, or whatever. Then they'd just have to send someone out there to verify the new data.

I'm actually surprised that this is how they do it. I've always assumed they hire people to drive over every road, but I figured there was a much better way to collect what I'm sure is a shitload of data.

Re:I'm surprised they don't use UPS, FedEx (1)

kmcg83 (634003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410025)

I was just thinking the same thing.

Take a poll of mailmen! I mean, if the USPS is losing money on the switch to email, maybe they can get a little back from the fact that they know our streets and addresses as well as anybody - at least in a local sense. Highways might be a little outside of their routes.

Re:I'm surprised they don't use UPS, FedEx (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410049)

Forget striking a deal, just ship a bunch of packages all over the place, and track where they go. :)

Re:I'm surprised they don't use UPS, FedEx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410173)

with what, satellite monitored rfid? won't somebody please think of the children!

Re:I'm surprised they don't use UPS, FedEx (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410199)

other companies that travel around alot

Where you can get a car through, you cannot always get a truck through. Some of the routings have you go through alleys.

And forget about transport trucks! Driving a seventy-two feet long and 8 foott wide truck through a city takes REAL planning.

Re:I'm surprised they don't use UPS, FedEx (1)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410213)

For the big carriers (UPS, FedEx, Airborne/DHL), it isn't really an issue. These drivers have a territory they are responsible for. 90% of the packages they deliver are in the same buildings they visit every day. It may be cool while a driver is learning their territory, but after that brief learning period, it would probably be an expensive waste.

All i can think of... (2, Funny)

li99sh79 (678891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409959)

Do they carpool with the Verizon Dude?

-sam

Re:All i can think of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410074)

he said "can you hear me now" one to many times and is now stuffed in the trunk.

Where am I now? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410215)

Where am I now?
Where am I now ?
Where am I now?
Where am I now?
Where am I now?
Where am I now?
Where am I now?
Where am I now?

A few days of this and any jury in the nation would acquit.

Beware of digital maps (2, Informative)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409963)

I worked at a company that was going to do vehicle tracking using GPS and those road map CDs you see at the computer store. We bought several of them from different companies. What we found was that they are full of mistakes. I believe that most of the data for these comes from a company called DeLorme (sp?). Unfortunately, it seems to have been compiled from obsolete government records. Something to keep in mind is you're planning a trip with these.

Inputting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409974)

Is that a word?

That explains it... (1)

macshune (628296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409980)

"...know that there are real people behind the controls."

Yeah. The maps are good, but the algorithm for path plotting could use some work. Sometimes it suggests the strangest ways to get somewhere...

Or maybe the program is trying to confuse humans and cost the world hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity???

Re:That explains it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410052)

Navtech doesn't do routing. I work for a competitor of Mapquest and can state unequivocally that their routing algorithms are some of the worst in the business.

Re:That explains it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410147)

I work for Mapquest and can state unequivocally that our routing algorithms are far superior to those of our competitors. Their algorithms aren't fit to shine our algorithm's shoes.

Re:That explains it... (2, Informative)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410071)

NavTech just makes a map database, the path plotting algorithm doesn't come from them. That's why mapquest and yahoo will give you different results.

Re:That explains it... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410089)

There was an article on these people in the Philadelphia Inquirer [philly.com] rag about a month ago, with rather more detail (unfortunately the Inquirer doesn't appear to archive articles older than seven days; I found it by searching, but was directed to a pay site to retrieve the article, so no karma-whoring on that one, sorry).

I seem to recall (and the article here bears that out) that they were at pains to point out they are only responsible for creating the database of streets. The service (be it Yahoo Maps or your GPS manufacturer) that buys that database information is then responsible for implementing the algorithm. Ergo, don't blame them if you end up driving in a very circuitous route.

Re:That explains it... (3, Interesting)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410231)

The graph algorithms to calculate these routes are very mature. If there are problems, they're either from the algorithms being implemented improperly (unlikely, as they're actually quite simple algorithms), or there are issues with the data. Most likely it's the latter.

Unexpected boon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7409983)

The same two guys were sent overseas to map Europe. Fance mistook it as an invasion and surrendered...

Re:Unexpected boon... (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410172)

Fance mistook it as an invasion and surrendered...

Which one of these did you fail: (a) English or (b) Geography?

Attention to detail (0, Troll)

SunSaw (700981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409985)

IDK if I'm impressed by the level of misguided individualized attention or surprised that there isn't a wide network of volunteer contributors spread out over Northern America working to make a better web-based mapping tool on the fly using Wi-Fi technology integrated with GPS.
Hey, maybe I should patent that idea!

also used in the Phone Book (1)

bingo_tailspin (530764) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409987)

Navtech's map databases are used in everything from Garmin GPS units to Alpine in-dash auto navigation systems.
Southwesten Bell also uses their (mapquest) city maps for our phone book. Although not with an option to zoom.

Re:also used in the Phone Book (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410036)

and by Yahoo

and boy does Map Quest approximate (1)

ramzak2k (596734) | more than 10 years ago | (#7409998)

Watch out if there the region you are going to is newly developed. You can almost be certain that the approximation used w.r.t area code will always be wrong.

Mall Of America (1)

Ballresin (398599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410011)

Don't trust Mapquest for directions to the MOA if you don't know any better. It actually did end me up in a dead end 6 miles away from the MOA in a residential area. Pissed me off so bad...

Now I use Yahoo! maps...maybe they're the same...but I don't know.

Re:Mall Of America (1)

jonfelder (669529) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410159)

According to the article they are:

Navtech is the service behind MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps, and OnStar, to name a few.

Fixing mistakes? (1)

rekoil (168689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410013)

I'd love to know how to get in touch with those guys to tell them about mistakes - if you put in my street address in Mapquest, you get directed to the other end of the street...

More information (4, Interesting)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410018)

NavTech started with a publicly available database used by the census bureau and have been updating, improving, and refining it since.

On the other hand the census bureau is planning on having a new improved database for the 2010 census that includes every home in America with relative precision in the centimeter range and absolute precision in the meter range. Some of the tech that they use for this is VERY cool stuff.

You can start learning here [census.gov] .

This explains a lot! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410024)

Like why everytime I use the navigation system on my new Honda, no matter what address I give it, it always ends up taking me to either a dunken donuts, a pizza hut, a drive thru burger king, an adult book store, or a very curious apartment complex with a lot of foot traffic at night. Boy, those people must get around! And does the cop version only include the dunken donuts?

NavTech (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410026)

My Garmin GPS V uses those. They are very accurate. I've only had them be wrong in a few spots, mainly in tiny little towns. I wish they would update them sooner though and add more landmarks and items.

Have to say it... (0, Flamebait)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410033)

"Can you hear me now?"

"Good."

so these are the guys... (0, Flamebait)

cloudship_tacitus (709780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410044)

who i should go after. my wife and i were looking for a restaurant in napa, and relying on mapquest's directions, ended up way in the hills, basically no where near the restaurant. i called the place and they asked me if i was using one of the mapping services. they told me that all attempts to get the directions fixed were ignored.

i wonder if the mapquests of the world aren't communicating back or if this place only updates things when they feel like it?

Curse You MapQuest, You've Foiled me Once Again! (1)

Salis (52373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410045)

How many times has this happened to you?

You follow the directions given by Mapquest and ...end up going down a one-way street. ...forget that bearing right could mean anything from making a turn that is less than 90 degrees right to turning the wheel an inch to the right while driving straight. ...successfully navigate yourself to BLAH BLAH Ave. South when you had typed in BLAH BLAH Ave. North. Congratulations! You are now lost in downtown! (And..no, those two streets could be miles apart and unconnected! Evil steet namers should die.)

Feel free to add your own.

Re:Curse You MapQuest, You've Foiled me Once Again (1)

Salis (52373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410067)

Ok, it would look better like this, heh.

How many times has this happened to you?

You follow the directions given by Mapquest and

...end up going down a one-way street.

...forget that bearing right could mean anything from making a turn that is less than 90 degrees right to turning the wheel an inch to the right while driving straight.

...successfully navigate yourself to BLAH BLAH Ave. South when you had typed in BLAH BLAH Ave. North. Congratulations! You are now lost in downtown! (And..no, those two streets could be miles apart and unconnected! Evil steet namers should die.)


Feel free to add your own.

WTF... ? (2, Funny)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410050)

An Interesting Story ?

Give mea break, Its hardly a 300 words article and what is so interesting about it ?

I couldn't get anything from the article, the real interesting part is the routing and not mapping. But the only information I found about routing was....

Moss opens up a "Shmem," or shared memory file, and puts in all the new info. When she gets back to the office, the heavy lifting starts.

"Usually it takes about twice the time to code it as it does to drive," Moss says. "There's so much information to put in."

Oh so they use Shmem , wow that's sooooo interesting.

Re:WTF... ? (1)

nucal (561664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410123)

Oh so they use Shmem , wow that's sooooo interesting.

I always preferred Curly to Shmem, myself ...

Re:WTF... ? (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410186)

NavTech doesn't do routing. What they do is take the census bureau's map's and put them in an easier to use format and then update them more regularly then every 10 years. Lately they've also been increasing precision using DGPS corrections.

Whats the pay? (1)

330Pilot (688005) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410053)

This does sound like a sweet job! I wonder what the pay is...

TIGER (3, Informative)

mmdurrant (638055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410064)

It surprises me that they didn't use the TIGER [census.gov] data, available from the US Census Bureau. [census.gov]

Klynas Engineering [klynas.com] makes a great product called Streets-On-A-Disk that covers any mapping need you might have. I used it as the mapping backend for a custom automatic vehicle location package I wrote. The software has a nifty API interface for external control and works great. The tech support rocks too - Scott, the president of the company and the guy who wrote the program, has provided me with tons of useful info. I have no interest in the company, I'm just a very satisfied customer.

What I want to see (4, Interesting)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410070)

I want Navtech to team up with a couple of the large carriers, like Schneider National [schneider.com] , Werner Enterprises [werner.com] , JB Hunt [jbhunt.com] and the other large trucking companies. These 3 companies, and many more, already have GPS transponders in the truck that track their locations and report back in realtime via Satellite.
Now, when a driver sees major road construction, etc, on major interstates they simply hit a button on their QualComm OmniTracs [qualcomm.com] unit marking it as such. After so many drivers have done this, it marks the area as being under construction, with a little bit of info about what's going on (resurfacing, 3 lanes closed westbound from 9pm-4am at milemarker 139 to 177 until 12/16/03) and mapquest inturns adds that data to it's routing database.
This would be an excellent way for mapquest to add a pay-for service that I for one would definately use.

It's got to be infringement..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410083)

PC Load Letter?!? What the fuck does that mean?!? You probably don't know how hard I laughed while reading "SCO declares GPL invalid". That's just crazy! Please mod me down, I'm a redundant, trolling, flamebait-loving dogmatist and I was a pro-DMCA lobbyist.

You know what'd be neat then? (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410140)

If they'd outfit those two with digital cameras, so they can take GPS-tagged (or at least date-tagged, to be later GPS'd from a log) pictures as they go.

At the very least, it'd be neat to have landmark and interchange photos up there.

and their maps SUCK (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410149)

I had to suffer with navtech maps for my autopc nav system. their maps are low quality, very limited in the amount of data and they ask a major premium for them.

Maps based on the US census Tiger data sets that are available FREE online are more useable than anything that navtech has ever produced.

I als used the GM navigation system that also is crippled by NAVTECH maps. now I look carefully, if I see navtech anywhere on the map or device I will not touch it.

They don't just drive around... (1)

inteller (599544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410157)

....they would love to have you believe that they have a bunch of Verizonesque goofballs driving all the streets, but in reality they get their basic street network from TIGER and/or GDT. The drivers mainly just go out for rural areas and new streets in cities. Mapquest even acknowledges GDT in their partners info.

I want that job! (1)

cpopin (671433) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410169)

Tooling around in my Eclipse all day would be awesome!

...and they're not very accurate (3, Interesting)

MImeKillEr (445828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410171)

My subdivision is a little over 3 years old. We're on all the other maps, but not MapQuest. Repeated emails to them to get this corrected have gone nowhere.

Odd thing is, if I map to the Albertson's near my house and then scroll down in their map, I see our subdivision. If I map to our address, none of the streets display.

Kinda sucks when you tell someone you need to give them directions when they say they'll just map it using MapQuest.

At least MapBlast [msn.com] works. Whether or not it'll do better now that Microsoft owns them remains to be seen.

Their LineDrive maps are better anyway.

Worm (this is related) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7410174)

What we need is an enterprising person to write a worm that infects peoples computers and downloads music from the internet (P2P). Thus when the RIAA sue these people they can claim that they are in fact victims of another worm being passed around and are rightfully innocent.

dear mapquest (1, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410191)

about 123 maplewood lane, arcadia, georgia:

my mailbox is actually a foot to the left of where it is as shown on your maps

about ridgewood lane, templeton, massachusettes:

there is a little too much curve to the second right hand turn as shown on your maps. it's more like a hard angle than a curve

could you fix these two things?

thanks

Efficiency... (2, Funny)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410192)

I wonder if these two actually drove around the 5 block circle that second time it appeared in my directions, or just logged it as "known path"?

State of the art equipment (4, Funny)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410202)

"I use the pen tool to write down names of roads or explain any significant changes to what we currently have in the database," she says.
Ghee, that really is some sophisticated technology they're using to solve these problems. Driving around in cars, using "pen tools" to "write down" information. It really smacks of the new millenium! ;^)

New Volunteer-created mapping system (5, Insightful)

bwaynef (692229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410206)

A lotta folks are saying they don't understand why theres not some huge network of volunteers that are helping out. I'd also think that this would be beneficial to the entire digitized world, but for the simple fact that I would not want my charity to be used by a company to make their $$. If however someone with more time/programming-skills than I decided they'd lend their time to building a free solution then I'm sure volunteers would pop out of the wood work. (Free as in, the cd's and data distributed by users who aren't searching on the web.)

based upon my experiences... (1)

Lurking Grue (3963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7410212)

I'd guess that they have Ray Charles making their maps. I've had better luck with a 10 year old Thomas Street Guide.
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