The world as data
Behind the map

Fresh, scalable, flexible and futureproof — TomTom Orbis Maps is the new standard in mapmaking

Standards are everything in business. They’re the rules that help our world work efficiently and cooperatively. Without them, individual countries could have tens of time zones, plug-and-play computer hardware wouldn’t exist and all our phones would have different charging connectors. So, it’s surprising to learn that some industries still lack crucial standardization to make everything work well together and promote interoperability and innovation. The commercial mapmaking and location tech industry is one such industry.
Feb 07, 2024·6 mins read
A picture of a well lit highway bridge extending to the horizon at dusk
Behind the map

TomTom's 2023 year in review: The big trends we're seeing in maps, EV, traffic and AI

The past year is one for TomTom’s history books. Delivering several firsts, the company is releasing new products, pushing its technology forward with the latest innovations. And it’s playing a central role in shaping the commercial mapping and location tech industry for good. With the year ending, let’s take a look at some of the milestones and trends from the past year and consider what’s on the horizon before TomTom returns with a bang at CES2024 in January.
Dec 19, 2023·10 mins read
Two people sat above a map working together to map
Behind the map

'Collaboration is the future of mapmaking': TomTom and Overture speak at OSM's State of the Map 2023

Collaboration is the guiding principle behind the twenty-year success of OpenStreetMap. It’s this fundamental concept that allows OSM’s communities to simultaneously use and make maps. This approach to modern mapmaking was a core theme at ‘State of the Map’ 2023 conference, in Antwerp, Belgium.
Nov 16, 2023·3 mins read
Satellite image of a road that's sectioned to show changing speed limit attributes
Behind the map

How TomTom turns open data into the Overture transportation layer: Road Sectioning

Transport infrastructure is a central feature of any map. So, it’s no surprise the Overture Foundation, with the exclusive help of TomTom, is developing its own data set of the world’s roads – what it calls its transportation layer. We looked at what TomTom is doing to create the Overture transportation layer and what it means for the project.
Nov 08, 2023·8 mins read
A picture of the TomTom Mobile Mapping vehicle
Behind the map

What's happening to the TomTom Car and where is it now?

Maybe you’ve seen it yourself. Maybe it drove past you one day. Maybe you followed it on the highway during your commute. Whether you’ve seen it or not, it’s almost certainly driven on the same roads you drive on every day. The TomTom Cars, or more specifically, its mobile mapping (MoMa) vehicles have been nearly everywhere and have long been an important tool in TomTom’s mapmaking. But with mapmaking evolving and map data available from more sources, will we continue to see MoMa vehicles on our roads?
Nov 03, 2023·7 mins read
A picture showing an EV charging with an acompanying phone app
Behind the map

Inside TomTom’s EV vision: What’s a mapmaker got to do with electric vehicles?

When someone says electric vehicles (EVs), you probably don’t think of TomTom — but you should. As the world goes electric, we must find ways to make living with EVs and using them in businesses as simple and effortless as possible. We need to rethink the experience and create something new, something that solves the problems of anyone or any business that uses electric vehicles, we need an excellent EV experience. Going electric is complicated for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be — and TomTom thinks its maps have the answer.
Sep 08, 2023·5 mins read
A person using their phone to monitor their EV charging as they stand by their vehicle.
Behind the map

Forget worrying about range, charging anxiety is now the prime concern for EV drivers

Today, most drivers no longer worry if their electric vehicle (EV) will go the distance. But when they do need to charge, they still face some pressing questions: Will there be available chargers at the next charging point? How long will it take to charge? How much will it cost, and how can I pay?
Sep 06, 2023·4 mins read
Map of Brazil with a location pin above the region of Para.
Behind the map

This Brazilian mapping group uses geotechnology to give women opportunities in STEM

From the lush depths of the Amazon rainforest to the vibrant bustle of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches, Brazil is home to many terrains — and people. It's a vast country made up of an intricate patchwork of 26 states each with its own cultures, diversity and landscape. They also have their own unique environmental and societal challenges. Meninas da Geo, a volunteer geotechnology group, is taking matters into its own hands to address some of these challenges in its home state of Pará.
Aug 24, 2023·3 mins read
head on image of a peloton of cyclists
Behind the map

The Tour de France is filled with location-powered tech

Passion, strength and skill now meet data-insights, generative AI and location tech. The Tour de France has been around since 1903, but how it’s organized, watched and experienced has been changing as fast as technology evolves.
Aug 01, 2023·4 mins read
Behind the map

Reimagining how maps are made: What's the latest for the TomTom Orbis Maps?

It’s been about eight months since TomTom announced its ambitious goal of building the world’s smartest and most useful maps. Progress is being made, so it’s high time we got an update on how it’s all going. We spoke to Willem Strijbosch, VP of Product for Maps, to find out more.
Jul 12, 2023·7 mins read
Behind the map

Geospatial World Forum: Three reasons why now's the right time for collaborative mapmaking

Last week, TomTom’s VP of Product for Maps, Willem Strijbosch, took to the stage as part of a panel at Geospatial World Forum to discuss a new, open model for map data and how the Overture Maps Foundation will work to make it a reality. But why do we need a new model for mapmaking and geospatial data? Why do we need the Overture Foundation in the first place?
May 09, 2023·6 mins read
Behind the map

A map historian explains the Netherlands' important role in mapmaking

In this article, we hand over the keys to the TomTom Newsroom blog to Drs. Reinder Storm who is the Curator Special Collections at The Allard Pierson, a University of Amsterdam affiliated museum that houses a very special collection of historical maps.
May 04, 2023·11 mins read
Behind the map

SXSW 2023: Making maps and location tech is really hard, but not if we do it together

On March 12, 2023, in Austin, Texas, mapping experts from the likes of Meta, Lyft and TomTom, working at the heart of this industry, gathered on the Industries Expo – Next Stage at SXSW to discuss the future of mapmaking and location-powered tech. If there’s anything we need to take away from this talk it’s that working with maps and location data is hard, whatever part of the industry you operate in. But it doesn’t need to be, if we work together.
Mar 21, 2023·6 mins read
Behind the map

What shipping containers can teach modern mapmaking

Today, the world of global logistics would be nothing without the shipping container. The simple steel box revolutionized how goods are moved between continents and across oceans. Despite its simplicity, it's one of the most significant inventions ever — it also makes a great metaphor for the state of modern, global digital mapmaking.
Feb 01, 2023·7 mins read
car traffic at an airport
Behind the map

How TomTom helps ride-hailing users find their way around airports

No matter how much experience we have flying, air travel will always be one of the most stressful means of travel. If clearing security, making it to your connecting flight in time and getting to and from airports weren’t enough, having to successfully locate the ride-hailing pick-up point in a new airport and find the cab you ordered add to the pains of the modern traveler.
Jan 19, 2023·6 mins read
Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom launch Overture foundation
Behind the map

TomTom, Amazon Web Services, Meta and Microsoft join forces and launch open map data foundation

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom have come together, as founding members, to form the Overture Maps Foundation, an open-data project that aims to build “reliable, easy-to-use and interoperable open map data.” The Overture Foundation is being established under the Linux Foundation, which first shared the news yesterday, and will define a new standard for mapmaking. With this news, TomTom galvanizes the next phase of its plan to build “the smartest map on the planet.”
Dec 16, 2022·9 mins read
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