TomTom Map Share is a proprietary map improvement technology which enables users to correct map errors directly on their device that can be shared later via the TomTom desktop application. When it comes to sharing improvements, users can choose between downloading all reported map improvements or only accepting map improvements verified by a TomTom team of experts to guarantee timeliness and validity.
Out of the one million uploaded map improvements, about two-thirds can be fixed instantly said TomTom. The remainder is forwarded to the TomTom development team - who are working on fixing more and more types of errors - or can be forwarded to the map provider for further study.
This announcement is a very positive sign for TomTom. Indeed, as of January 2008, the amount of registered TomTom HOME users was 4.25 million and the total number of TomTom satellite navigation is currently around 15 million (source TomTom). It makes Map Share used by almost 12 percent of the TomTom Home user base and three percent of its total number of customers which is a rather good percentage for such benevolent tasks. At the current growth of the market, and with the backward compatibility with older TomTom navigation devices, Map Share might well make a difference in the quality of TomTom maps moving forward, especially once the Tele Atlas acquisition is finalized – the European commission is still investigating on this matter.
However, TomTom will have to find ways to market the success of its community to its members and non-members to push them to continue their good work. This sounds like a marketing challenge, indeed, nothing is less visible than a map correction and advertising the fact the map was not good in the first place is probably not something TomTom is willing to do either.