Visualizing TomTom probe data in Amsterdam
To achieve this, TomTom invented a continuously integrated map-making platform, able to deliver a continuously up-to-date map.
This platform enables us to quickly close the loop between the moment a change is detected in the real world to updating the map on a user’s device to a version that reflects this change.
How do we do this?
There isn’t one single method used for detecting change, but rather a combination of sources. Our multi-source approach combines data from survey vehicles, GPS traces, community input, governmental sources and vehicle sensor data to build our maps for maximum attribution, accuracy and maintenance levels, meaning their accuracy will not deteriorate over time.
For example, we work with local governments and road authorities to understand planned changes and use our global community of 600 million connected devices to detect changes that were perhaps unplanned. These changes are fused to ensure the most accurate reflection of reality.
Next, we select only the part of the map that is impacted by the change. We update the map and conduct a live quality check that assures accuracy. We then merge the changed piece back into the map as an incremental update. Because this quality assured process is transactional, the map database is continuously releasable.
Let’s go through each step:
The more users that use our technology on the road, the more accurate the driving experience. With almost a billion people using TomTom maps in devices around the world, drivers who choose to share map feedback with us help improve the quality of our data. Each month, we receive hundreds of thousands of consumer reports.
Whether from our own or partner devices, this data consists of billions of probe traces from 600 million connected devices every day.
Through a combination of professional map-making methods and community input, we have perfected a hybrid approach that ensures both efficiency and accuracy through fast cycle times and quality assurance.
Data is received and processed to produce changes. We match probe-derived geometry daily against our maps, often referring to sources such as imagery to help with validation. Using community input also helps us to more smartly plan our mobile mapping van routes to achieve more in less time.
We process millions of real-world changes every week, this is done end to end, from detection to quality assurance. Users then receive incremental updates that are sent with a high accuracy-confidence and fast cycle times.
Continuously releasable map database
A continuously releasable database enables us to deliver the quickest updates to the user. Real-time quality assurance ensures that only trusted changes be incorporated into a database that is always globally complete and seamless.
Incremental map updates
Users get real-time and easy access to maps through several map delivery formats that are capable of incremental map updates for all features. MultiNet-R delivers all the high-quality content layers of the TomTom map database in a single, easy-to-use relational database model. As an industry leader in the adoption of the Navigation Data Standard (NDS), TomTom offers modular, plug-and-play runtime maps that are ready for use in NDS software applications. Our APIs provide streaming maps with total flexibility and access to the latest possible map changes.
Covering the world
Our maps move the world forward every day. They cover over 68 million kilometers of navigable roads in 164 countries and 35 territories.
More than three million kilometers are driven by mobile mapping vans each year.
Through our innovative, proprietary, transactional map-making platform, TomTom provides extremely accurate and up-to-date maps that enable our customers to make smarter mobility decisions every day.