AND wants to build a worldwide mapping alliance

AND wants to build a worldwide mapping alliance
Maarten Oldenhof, CEO of Dutch digital map maker AND said last Friday he is in talks with Chinese and Middle East map data companies to build a global alliance to challenge the Tele Atlas/NAVTEQ duopoly, reported Reuters. AND has developed its own navigable map data for seven countries in Western Europe, but getting from being a local player to a worldwide one is a process that requires time and capital expenditure out of the reach of a small company like AND - which posted €3.6 million revenue in 2008.

Contacted by GPS Business News, a spokesperson at AND was not willing to name the possible partners of AND in this consortium. “We cannot disclose the names of the companies we are talking with.”

Oldenhof is looking at offering a one stop shopping experience for digital maps: "Working with other companies makes it possible to respond to the rapid development of the location enabled mobile devices. Developing our own maps for ie China would take quite some time."

The acquisition of NAVTEQ by Nokia and Tele Atlas by TomTom last year gave birth to a duopoly controlled by two major players selling themselves navigation solutions. This situation creates a strong appeal for one or more additional global providers.

An alliance of local players could be a possibility as far as they can provide a seamless experience to their customers in terms of map quality, pricing, terms of licensing and map format. As a matter of fact, Tele Atlas itself came to offer a global coverage through multiple acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures.

OpenStreetMap, developed by over 100,000 volunteers worldwide (read our report here) is also likely to become a contender on this market as its coverage gets more consistent.

Monday, August 24th 2009

Nav & Telematics | Sport and Outdoor | Location Based Services | Tech & Innovation | Market Data | Finance & Legal | People and Jobs | Voices of the industry | Press Releases