Navteq to crash Australian mapping party

Navteq, one of the world's biggest suppliers of digital mapping data, will next month splash onto the Australian scene when its maps start showing up on GPS devices.

Navteq, one of the world's biggest suppliers of digital mapping data, will next month splash onto the Australian scene as its maps become available on GPS devices.

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In the US, Navteq is Google Maps' supplier of map data.

Today, Navteq made a preliminary announcement that it will be entering the Australian mapping market in July, but for now, the company is remaining mum as to which GPS units will carry their maps. Up until now, Telstra's Sensis arm -- which owns Whereis, the UBD and Gregory's street directories -- has had a virtual monopoly on Australia's digital maps. Meanwhile overseas, Navteq is one of the main providers of digital geographic data and, as such, provides the data which is used in GPS devices and on Web sites such as Google Maps and Yahoo Maps.

According to Navteq, its cartographers have spent the past two years traversing the nation, and that its maps will provide "enchanced accuracy and details" including points of interest and black spots. It will be interesting to see how Navteq's maps stack up against Sensis'. Recently when we reviewed the TomTom One XL and LG LN800, we discovered some street information was missing, or incorrectly added, such as a phantom roundabout and street. When we had a quick browse of the Navteq's Web site, we were pleased to discover that the phantom street, Nicholls Parade in Enmore, isn't present on its Australian maps.

Navteq promises that it will have interactive features where users can inform the company of errors which need to be corrected on its maps. This will certainly include the "Map Reporter" tab on its Web site, through which users can already browse and report errors on Navteq's Aussie maps.

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