My partner Tim O’Reilly likes to call data the “Intel Inside” of Web 2.0 – the idea being that if you own great data, you can license it all over the place. His favorite example is Navteq, the mapping company that powers all sorts of applications, including loads of auto navigation systems.
But now Google is getting in on the game. From the Reuters piece:
Volkswagen AG of Germany’s American unit on Friday said it is working on a prototype vehicle which features Google Inc.’s satellite mapping software to give drivers a bird’s eye view of the road ahead.
And, when Google gets into your car, you think, well, Google itself will be far behind?
Update: Many readers point out that Google is not providing data competitive to Navteq, it’s only providing Google Earth satellite data. Yeah, well…not yet folks. But when that hybrid satellite data is populated with comments from the Force of Many on every store and location of note, and when Google buys or borrows and overlays the entire Yellow Pages, and when…well, when that happens, they sure as hell will be….not that that’s the plan. Of course not.
10 thoughts on “Udpated: Google To Take on Navteq?”
Larry Page demoed their in-dash Google Maps service for Volkswagen at his CES keynote. Looked amazing.
John, Google gets its map data from Navteq. They have a different partner for the imagery, and they combine the two for the “hybrid” view in their maps, which is, one assumes, what will be used in those cars. So it would still be “Navteq inside”, as long as it shows street names.
Now Google gives toole thing over car of navigation equipment, hopefully one not from the Auot already drives abgelengt.
Navteq may be the data, but they’re not the software. The key is Telcontar. Telcontar is the software engine that processes Navteq data. So next time you visit Google maps, or Yahoo maps, or Mapquest, think Telcontar — their software is in use at all three sites.
The Google Car Navigation system will need the FON WiFi platform if they want to start doing fancy stuff.
It could essentially become the data and media center of the car:
– Geo-localised yellow pages
– Real-time traffic information
– News alerts
– Internet streaming radio
– VoIP telephone (hands-free)
– Toll payment platform – to be licensed to governments that wish to apply congestion charges.
The cost of streaming the data for the maps could be paid by Google which could potentially make money by selling geo-localised Ads on the map. Therefore the service (and maybe even the device) could be free!
Sounds like TomTom all over to me. http://www.tomtom.com/
The only thing is that Google can integrate more of their search stuff into their navigationsystem to be.
Does everyone remember how Microsoft was going to be the EVIL Goliath at the begining of the early 1990’s web, it woud control everything, mapping, applications, desktop, commerce, e-commerce, tv, web at al.
Fast forward 10 -15 years and it looks like another company might end up doing it instead.
But because of the way that most people bought into the myth of “do no Evil…” which could quite well have been created quite cynically from the outset, and because their was no “we’re not microsoft/anti-ms lobby this time round, or maybe because all those anti-ms cohorts from 10 years ago coalessed around the “innocent/humble” google, we’re all essentially going to just be asking to get screwed in the future -it’s a car accident we’re just waiting for.
Imagine the privacy movie script, and then develop that onto the mobile phone, and now follow that onto every vehicle…..yay!!!!!!
Sorry, just had a moment, but what if…………
BTW, If google was to keep developing at a rate of knots and expanding the google eco-system universe faster than our real one, does anyone else forsee the possibility that it could one day become just so uber-powerful (- think what ideological democrats said about satellite and the internet and china, etc., but twist it back on us) that it threatens the interests of the “free western world” governments and their vested interested, and then they just start to think about the possibility of Google becomming the world’s first entity to be taken over by The UN – well, as everyone would have a mutual equal stake (their is no trust!).
This might take many decades, and google woud add more and more data-tracing features in the mean-time, and people in the shadows woud already have been using and enhancing user data quietly with their own moral justification; and then a new CEO who wasn’t an apologist would publically declare his intention to let the world know the truth of us all, maybe starting with evil corrupt businesses and politicians………..
Shakir Razak (just one of those afternoons today!)
I’m still somewhat confused by your post, though less than I was when I first read it last night. You still seem to alude to Google taking on Navteq by “overlaying” Googles assests on the satellite imagery, but how would Google do this without Navteq (or TeleAtlas) and their data that allows geocoding?
The power of Navteq’s data is that you can overlay Google’s databases on maps. Now Google might buy a compeditor to Navteq (or Navteq itself), but Google can’t geocode their information without the worldwide datasets of Navteq.
Navteq needs true competition–it charges outrageous price while its current competitors suck in product.
It’s now July 2007 and TomTom just announced that they intend to acquire Navteq competitor TeleAtlas. There are a number of strategic issues raised by this potential action. You can see some of them at my blog (http://blog.telemapics.com).
I ran across this blog searching for additional news on the transaction. While Google has the money to build a navigable database, it would be an undertaking far more signifcant than creating geobased image coverage.
In order to provide the data that algorithms need to safely create a navigable database, Goodle would need to collect a significant number of variables about road and network links. These data are not natively part of image databases.
Finally, many of the data you need for navigation are very hard to produce with remotely sensed aerial platforms — like street names, postal codes, addresses, road classification,directionality, time of day and turn restrictions, etc. It’s not that Google or anyone else could not do it, the question is does it make economic sense for them to go into a data business.
Finally, on the question of POIs and the Yellow Pages — the data that Google and others use for this purpose are licensed from Navteq, infoUSA, Axciom and other players – they are not owned by Google. At least not yet!