TomTom Orbis maps is on its way to be ‘World’s best map.’ Find out how
Editorial team·May 02, 2024

TomTom Orbis maps is on its way to be ‘World’s best map.’ Find out how

Editorial team
TomTom Blog
May 02, 2024 · 3 min read
TomTom Orbis Maps now with global coverage | TomTom Newsroom

“We’re so confident in the quality and the strategy of our new map, we know that if you come and try it out, you’ll be sold on it as well,” Michael Harrell, TomTom SVP of Maps Engineering. “The quality trajectory is going faster than we’ve ever seen.”

Watch Michael Harrell, TomTom SVP of Engineering Maps, explain the progress of TomTom Orbis Maps


The road to global coverage

Launched in Western Europe and North America in late 2023 with coverage in those areas, TomTom Orbis Maps is now going global and expanding to the whole world. With that, it’s bringing full, rich map detail and coverage and millions of miles of roads to more than 235 countries and territories.

With this fast pace of development, Harrell is confident that TomTom Orbis Maps is the best map on the market — so much so that he’s willing to throw down the gauntlet and prove it. In a recent interview addressing everyone who builds with maps, he said, “We know that if you come and try it out, you will be sold as well.”

Since fall 2023 it’s been, and will continue to be, a process of continual improvement to prove its concept, expand its coverage and bring its supreme detail to many more countries, Harrell explains.

Global coverage is easy to achieve if you’re willing to accept a basic level of detail, but for TomTom Orbis Maps, global coverage is about a lot more — it’s about offering the same level of rich detail and constant improvement everywhere.

“Our launch in 2023 really was our first showing of what TomTom Orbis Maps is capable of. We focused primarily on Western Europe and North America, to get the quality at the level that’s expected in these primary markets. What we’re launching now is a truly global map.”

Progress to deliver a global map has been swift despite its magnitude. “To be honest with you, it’s gone way faster than we had expected. And the quality we’re seeing now, even just six months further on, is higher and better than any of the competition and the quality trajectory is going faster than we’ve ever seen,” Harrell adds.

Clarity of strategy

We shouldn’t be surprised though, TomTom’s strategy of bringing the world together to advance collaborative mapping was always going to lay the foundation to create more map data, increase detail and enhance the map’s richness at an ever-increasing rate. We’ve seen it in other industries in tech and consistently over history: where data and knowledge are shared, where standards are open, innovation is accelerated.

“As a result of bringing all these different companies together to work on making a better map, we’re already seeing a significant acceleration in the quality features and coverage of a map compared to any map we’ve seen before,” Harrell says.

The future of mapping is here

“No one company is really going to be able to own and build a complete map that serves all the different use cases that the world’s companies and customers have come to expect and demand,” Harrell adds.

Indeed, TomTom has come to the conclusion that it will take the world to map the world — to make the map the world demands, the world is going to have to work together. That’s the thinking that led TomTom to co-found the Overture Foundation.

What started as a committee of just four companies — Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom — the Overture Foundation now has over 25 members including Hyundai Motor Group, Precisely, CARIAD and PTV Group. Together, the foundation defines the open mapping standard that is making the collaborative efforts work together and multiply in their impact. For those building innovative tech with maps and location data, that impact is felt firsthand through using TomTom Orbis Maps, Harrell says.

“TomTom Orbis Maps, our new mapping solution, is built on top of this collaborative effort, with all of these different tech companies. Everyone can add their different content, layers and capabilities. It really does invite everyone to work together and create the best possible map in the world.”

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