Microsoft to get more map data and features from Navteq
Marvin Hlavac
A new multi-year agreement between Microsoft and Navteq will give the software company access to map data of all 74 countries currently in the Navteq database, and also the right to use the data to implement some new features, such as truck navigation and pedestrian navigation. What remains to be seen is how Microsoft intends to use this. Will this be used for an online mapping product, or will we see truck routing in future versions of Streets and Trips? Many drivers of large vehicles have for many years been using Microsoft Streets & Trips despite the software's lack of truck-specific routing ability. The addition of such functionality would indeed be welcome by many.

Microsoft has expandeu its agreement with Navteq, which has given the software provider access to all 74 countries in the Navteq map database. The multi-year agreement gives Microsoft the right to use Navteq content, including Extended Listings, Navteq Discover Cities, Navteq Transport, and Navteq Voice. Microsoft will use Navteq data in its Internet and mapping software solutions.

"Microsoft has remained a leader in mapping software by providing end users with intuitive, information-rich products," said Stephen Lawler, general manager of Virtual Earth at Microsoft. "This global agreement with Navteq helps us continue to provide users with the most powerful and expansive experience possible."

Navteq and Microsoft forged a relationship 10 years ago when Microsoft selected Navteq to supply map data of the United States and Canada for its product applications. The relationship expanded in the years that followed to include Navteq map data for Western Europe, Asia, and Mexico. Now, with this new agreement, Microsoft intends to provide global solutions that meets the needs of its international consumers.

The new licensing agreement extends beyond map coverage to include advanced Navteq content, including the following products:
  • Extended Listings includes hundreds of thousands of business listings for category customization and enhanced destination selection;
  • Discover Cities provides the street, pedestrian and public transit network information necessary for pedestrian and multi-modal navigation;
  • Transport includes a growing number of attributes that target specific needs of the transport industry to enable sophisticated truck navigation, as well as routing and dispatch optimization;
  • Voice translates names and named places into phonetic language that enables applications to generate spoken words for guidance, which is a more intuitive and natural way for consumers to interact with navigation systems, Navteq said.
I hope that the new "voice" phonetic feature would help the next version of S&T to pronounce something like "sr-1" correctly and not like "senior 1". This would be a real benefit when driving with the street name option, that sometimes can say some funny things

I'd like to see information on bicycle paths added to S&T if it's available. As it is now, I use satellite pictures to plot my routes in advance.
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