A conversation on digital maps

The Kojo Nnamdi show, a DC public radio call-in program, had a discussion yesterday on digital mapping technology. (RealAudio, Windows Media)

Among the topics covered: mapping refugee flows, Google Street View, mashups, user-generated map data and privacy issues around all of the data being gathered.

One of the panelists was Cliff Fox of NAVTEQ, which provides the underlying street data used by many online and portable navigation systems. He joined the conversation at 16:48.

Some fun facts:

  • Navteq employs 700 people to drive the roads in 69 countries. (I read somewhere that 550 of those are in the United States.) An area like Chicago has 8 people. That’s an awful lot of ground to be covering with a small number of people.
  • Each road segment can have 200 attributes, such as medians, turn restrictions, truck restrictions. Unfortunately, many systems don’t use data like HOV restrictions.

More on: maps, satellite navigation


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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