Google Dumps TeleAtlas Street Maps, Raising Many Questions

Oct 8, 2009  |  Michael Wurzer

Google announced yesterday that they are now sourcing a lot of their street mapping data from government sources. What wasn’t immediately clear from their announcement, though, is that they are no longer using TeleAtlas data for their base street maps in the U.S. Instead, apparently Google now owns their own base street maps, and is including parcel maps for many counties across the country.

It may not be immediately obvious, but this is a BIG deal to anyone who uses map data and it raises a ton of questions. What will the terms of Google’s licensing be now that they no longer have to pay TeleAtlas for the base map? Given that they are sourcing the data from many government sources, will Google be providing the data they get from users back to the counties? Will they contribute this base map to any open source efforts like Open Street Map?

I’m very curious what others have experienced in terms of pricing from Google lately for Enterprise Map Services. Our renewal was more than interesting, and it was shortly prior to this announcement that they are no longer using TeleAtlas. I’m really hoping Google is intending to live up to their “Do No Evil” motto, because there’s a ton of potential here for them to be building a huge base map with tons of data from government sources that they control.

2 Responses to “Google Dumps TeleAtlas Street Maps, Raising Many Questions”

  1. It doesn’t surprise me that Google decided to do this on their own because it’s impossible to get TeleAtlas or NAVTEQ to correct the basic address errors on their maps. Our area is loaded with them and I submitted corrections years ago that are still not updated.

    On the other hand, Google had to take the base TeleAtlas data, and then overlay all of their own fixes to it. The Google data around here is much more up to date.

  2. Ron Stephan says:

    This is the reason that I asked the question at CMLS. We have been looking at various map data products and wasn’t quite sure if FBS was using Tele Atlas or Google or some combination. We have attempted to get answers from Google regarding licensing of their map product to no avail. Many but not all of our counties have wonderful GIS mapping capabilities. As an MLS our main concern is updating of streets and parcels as quickly as possible. We have had much success with our property records vendor in getting data corrections made within a very short period of time but the map data seems to lag far behind. We have considered contracting with a Florida based map vendor for street updates however we thought Google was making progress and that it would not be necessary for us to do so.