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Google Maps, Tele Atlas expand partnership

Mapping company gets access to Google users' annotations in exchange for providing data to Google Maps, Google Earth, and other divisions.

Google Maps has formed a five-year partnership with Tele Atlas, the Belgium-based mapping company that was already providing it with geographic information systems (GIS) data.

Under the new agreement--financial terms were not disclosed--Tele Atlas will provide maps and "dynamic content" for Google Maps in over 200 countries. Tele Atlas will also provide such data for other Google geographic divisions, such as Google Earth and Google Maps for Mobile, and to future Google projects that may require mapping data. Tele Atlas, in turn, will have access to annotations that Google Maps users have added to the system.

Tele Atlas was acquired by GPS navigation device manufacturer Tom Tom this spring following a six-month antitrust probe by the European Commission.