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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:




Map Users

Sensor Input

Intelligent Mapmaking

Transactional Mapmaking Engine

Continuously Releasable Map Database

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.