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How we create our Real-Time Maps

We have a truly unique map-making and publishing process. With TomTom Real-Time Maps, we ensure drivers always have the latest map in their cars.

TomTom maps: more detailed, accurate and up-to-date.

Every year, about 15% of roads change – speed limits are updated, new businesses need to be listed, new streets are built and streets are renamed. Keeping the map up-to-date with these ongoing changes is an incredible challenge. TomTom relies on intelligent mapmaking, which is a highly efficient hybrid approach that we invented and perfected, combining professional map-making methods with community input.

This approach enables us to have a map that is highly accurate and up-to-date. With TomTom Real-Time Maps, we ensure people always have the latest map in their car. We apply the following closed loop method that boasts high quality, high efficiency and fast cycle times. It follows six steps:

1
mapusers

Map Users

sensorinput

Sensor Input

intelligentmapmaking

Intelligent Mapmaking

mapmakingengine

Transactional Mapmaking Engine

mapdatabase

Continuously Releasable Map Database

incrementalupdates

Incremental Map Updates

TomTom offers a global, competitive map in devices around the world supporting close to a billion people. We provide software that optimises the use of the map data on the device and what is sent from and to the device.

We provide a connected navigation suite of software that offers a leading end-user navigation experience. Also, we offer friendly feedback mechanisms and tools for all devices (e.g. handheld, desktop) for drivers to share map feedback in an easy-to-use and empowering experience.

The devices pass data to a set of TomTom APIs. If a driver is not using a TomTom device then our partner shares data through its own software process. There are two core APIs, one for receiving and processing sensor data, and one for receiving and processing consumer reports.

A highly efficient hybrid approach that we invented and perfected, that combines professional mapmaking methods with community input, enables us to have a map that is highly accurate and up-to-date.

  • Data is received via APIs and processed to produce changes with high-quality confidence and fast cycle times.
  • We match probe-derived geometry daily against our maps, often referring to traditional sources such as imagery to help with validation.
  • Using community input also helps us to more smartly plan our mobile mapping van routes. By focusing on areas where we have identified changes from crowd-sourced reports we can achieve more in less time.

Our mapmaking engine processes real-world changes end-to-end, from detection through to quality assurance. Incremental updates are sent to users with a high-accuracy-confidence and fast cycle-times. We process millions of edits a week.

Firstly, our real-time quality assurance means that only trusted changes get put into the database and passed on to the end user. Secondly, the database is always globally complete and seamless.

Owing to these two achievements, the database is continuously releasable to deliver real-time updates to the end user anytime. The database has full traceability back to the source and has full-feature stable IDs, so that customer can apply updates easily.

TomTom offers leading, easy-to-use map formats to efficiently ingest TomTom’s map data. These formats support incremental updates for all features.

The closed-loop technology offered here is capable of publishing updates for some map features in minutes from source to device.