[OSM-talk] Fwd: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

NopMap ekkehart at gmx.de
Mon Feb 1 13:31:14 GMT 2010


Kai Krueger wrote:
> Even if promoting to the company did not work, it might still be worth 
> promoting OSM in the media coverage / blogs of the Nav4All shutdown as a 
> reason why it is important to have free and open map data to prevent 
> anti-competitive activities by a few large companies.

I am fully aware that many people will not want to hear that - but why
promote something that OSM cannot deliver? I can understand why Nav4All will
rather shutdown than attempt to switch to OSM. 

A while ago, I had approached another company which produces mobile
navigation software, where I know some people. I tried to advertise OSM data
and maybe get some support for their software. To my great surprise, they
had spent a considerable sum of money on converting OSM data into their
format and had already evaluated it. The result of the evaluation was
disillusioning: The geometry is pretty good, but the attribution is way
below what would be required to substitute the commercial data. They decided
to not use it, in spite of the work already invested.

Which is rather close to the statement from Nav4All.

OSM is quite suitable for any hobby project, but I believe that the
anarchistic nature and the often controversial and sometimes disputed and
chaotic tagging are reason enough to deter the use of OSM in any
professional area where you are talking about warranties. The commercial map
data has fixed tagging schemes and minimum quality standards. It contains no
nasty surprises in general and if it does fail in some places, there's a
provider who is liable to fix this ASAP. As long as OSM has no comparable
standards (and I don't expect it will have - I'd like to point at my
favorite example that there's still no agreed way to tag something as simple
as a bicycle way), it is unlikely to meet the existing standards of
commercial providers.

I am aware that other than Nav4All and the company I talked to, Skobbler is
trying to switch to OSM. They are probably running into all the problems
with ambiguities and controversial tagging right now. So I am very
interested what sort of navigation they will manage.


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