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sales of local digital data to GPS Navigation companies

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#1
capnkate

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I work for a large, rural parish in Louisiana. I maintain digital data and addresses for the parish. I am constantly getting complaints from the public and delivery companies about the non-current spatial data used by GPS device companies. I would like to hear from others in local government and private industry who have faced this problem and how they solved it.
Did you contact the companies directly about their old data of your local area?
Did you offer to sell them data updates to improve their product?
Is there a model to follow about pricing this data for sale to these companies?

I know the best data is usually the local data. I want to provide the Navtec's and TomTom's of the world my best data so our local residents can get their deliveries! And if I can generate a resonable amount of revenue for my department while doing that, all the better.
Thanks for any help that is out there.

#2
Dale Sanderson

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I know the best data is usually the local data. I want to provide the Navtec's and TomTom's of the world my best data so our local residents can get their deliveries! And if I can generate a resonable amount of revenue for my department while doing that, all the better.

My experience has been that Navteq and Teleatlas do a pretty good job with the larger cities, but the more rural the area, generally the more outdated the geographic data. I imagine that's because the time and effort required to keep rural counties up-to-date represents a negative return-on-investment for these companies... and that would be even more the case if you try to charge them for your data. The data creation has already been paid for by your local taxpayers, so if I were them, I'd be clamoring for you to give the data to navigation companies free of charge. Consider it a public-domain kind of thing, and you would be doing everything within your power to get accurate information for your parish out there, into the hands of the information consumer. This is just my opinion, so I hope others weigh in.
Dale Sanderson
professionally: cartographics manager for Dex One
personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)

#3
David Medeiros

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What Dale describes above is similar to how we operated at CSAA. We received a good portion of our base and update data from city and county agencies. The difference is we solicited that information and fostered long term relationships with contact at those agencies. We were rarely charged for what is essentially public domain info (although that was changing in our last few years or so). Another big difference between our approach and the NavTech approach is that we pushed our corrections back to the cities and counties. As a data aggregator and map editor we often came across errors or omissions they were not aware of and sent those corrections back to them once the map update was finished (along with a healthy supply of free maps!).

I think this is an ideal way to go about the business of local map generation. It's far more symbiotic than the model used by the larger digital data aggregators who simply siphon off whatever they can get their hands on and to my knowledge do not hand back any corrections. I'm generally in favor of providing public data free of charge (or for cost of supplies only), but with these companies I'm less enthusiastic. My guess is you'd have a harder time giving them the data than you think and might never actually see it appear in their maps, but who knows.

Something else to consider is that while you may know (or think) you have accurate data my experience has been that a lot of what cities & counties record is wrong or out of date. It's the field checking that really gives the best data and is why we would be able to send back corrections. These companies will certainly have had a ton of experience dealing with "accurate" local data only to find it's full of mis alignments, old names, paper streets etc. If they have to field check it any way they might as well just drive it all and generate the data themselves (with no obligation to send you what they find out).

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#4
wick

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Sign up with Google's Base Map Partner program to submit your data for inclusion in Google Maps.
http://maps.google.c...p/maps/basemap/

While you're at it, sign up for ESRI's Community Map program which looks much like Google's program.
http://www.esri.com/...unity-maps.html
Jesse Wickizer
Maps.com

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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Something else to consider is that while you may know (or think) you have accurate data my experience has been that a lot of what cities & counties record is wrong or out of date. It's the field checking that really gives the best data and is why we would be able to send back corrections. These companies will certainly have had a ton of experience dealing with "accurate" local data only to find it's full of mis alignments, old names, paper streets etc. If they have to field check it any way they might as well just drive it all and generate the data themselves (with no obligation to send you what they find out).


Funny enough one of my clients, a city government, is dealing with this issue right now. They send street name updates, for free, to major data vendors. These updates are the official announcements that a street is going to be created, or altered, or removed. However... between that announcement and the actual completion (i.e. the actual moment where somebody could actually drive over that new street) may be years. That doesn't stop the data vendors from blindly adding it to their database though and the end result is that most satnavs and online mapping services show streets, and try to navigate along them, that won't actually be there for years to come and may never see the light of day.

In an unrelated move, the very same data vendors have blocked the release into the public domain of a government-maintained road centerlines dataset because it would be "unfair competition" to them, seeing as they "spend so much time and effort" ensuring the quality of their data... Yeah right...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#6
rudy

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Mt (very limited) experience has been that the big data companies are not interested in dealing with a multitude of local data providers . . . far easier and cheaper for them to deal with one data provider for an entire country than a thousand or so municipal and county sources. We've deal with numerous municipalities across Canada in order ot source our data. The larger population centres are well organized and up-to-date. The small rural ones are not. In some cases we were given old paper maps as the best source. Even then, when comparing it to 4 year old satellite imagery available on Google it's obvious these sources aren't always the best. Closest to the source is best but even then a little ground truthing is always helpful.

You may have the best data for your area around but I doubt if the larger data companies would express much interest in it.




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