Google firmly set its foot into the navigation world when it announced free Google Maps Navigation for the Android 2.0 at the end of October. The device is only available for the United States and only on select phones. Forbes takes a look at the supposed relationship Google is working on with Automotive Navigation Data, a Netherlands-based digital map provider to obtain navigation data for Europe:
Though not as well known as rivals Navteq and Tele Atlas, AND says it is the third-largest global provider of geospatial software. It was founded in 1984 and maintains a database of roads that link more than 200 countries. The company says several major Internet-based mapping services, such as Mapquest and Microsoft‘s Bing Maps, rely on its data for some geographical areas. Google has used AND data for its Africa maps for several years.
If the move by Google to launch a free navigations system for European users is true, some independent developers have indicated they will close down shop.
Nicolas Gramlich says he will likely cease working on his navigation application, AndNav, if Google extends its service to Europe…”Up to now, we had the advantage of being the only navigation provider offering a free service [on Android phones],” says Gramlich. If Google targets Europe, AndNav–a two-person shop run by Gramlich and another developer, Pascal Neis–will make AndNav open-source and allow interested outsiders to work on it, Gramlich says.
Read more: Google’s Plan To Map The World – Forbes
(~ Via All Points Blog)