And to ensure that we are focusing on the maps that are relevant to the most users, we use big data and advanced technologies to understand exactly where the most people are using our map data. Our primary concern is making our data available and correct – in real-time, if possible – to the most users.
This fusion approach delivers the right information, from reliable sources, at the right time. Here’s how.
Remember the statistic about TomTom’s 600 million connected devices? Each of those device probes continuously feeds information back into our proprietary transactional map-making platform, enabling us to “see” a picture of the areas where our users are traveling.
This automated data collection process draws from both government and private sources, aerial imagery and field analysts. Over time, we can accurately gauge the roadways and geographic areas that are the busiest – and thus matter most to our map users.
These become our priority areas. We strive to update them with the latest changes (road changes, temporarily blocked streets, new businesses, address changes, etc.) as quickly as possible. That doesn’t mean we ignore the “minor” roads; it’s just priority setting.
Maps that matter, piece by piece
The speed in which we make these updates is critically important. It’s one of the reasons why, in 2016, we moved from batch data processing of map changes to a continuously releasable map. Instead of producing and releasing a new map on a quarterly basis, we now release a new version – continuously, allowing our customers to choose the cadence that’s right for them.
Think of this process like creating a jigsaw puzzle. When batch processing was the norm, we were creating the equivalent of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle every quarter; we’d send it to our customers and their puzzle would have to be rebuilt each time in order to update their products.
Now, with continuous processing, we send our customers just the pieces of the puzzle that have changed. Maybe it’s 20 pieces today; and 50 pieces tomorrow. The entire puzzle doesn’t need to be recreated, but simply update the outdated pieces incrementally.
It’s a much simpler and more efficient process.