Originally Posted by BK
Interesting BMW went to TeleAtlas. That's a real coup for TeleAtlas, which generally is considered the second-best (to NAVTEQ) for US map information -- or at least, it always had been considered second best. Supposedly, they've really improved their database information. They've been aggressive lately in becoming the supplier to GPS device manufacturers for use in the US (Tom Tom, mobile phones).
I know nothing about TeleAtlas' coverage, but I'm thrilled that BMW is dumping NAVTEQ.
I had a MY99 E39 with Nav, and after paying the horrendous amount of money for updates several times (for the Cal/Nev CD) I decided that NAVTEQ isn't updating anything. Once they set up the initial database back in the 90's, they've been updating almost nothing (despite their claims on their website) for years and just cashing in.
I moved to newly built residences twice, and found that it took about 3 years each time for the streets to show up on the NAVTEQ discs (and that's AFTER I moved in, and the streets had already pre-existed for about a year prior to me moving there). I'd submit to them about the missing data, too, buy the next update, and not find them in there - really frustrating. Every year I also drive by a HUGE mall on the Interstate 5 up in mid-California - it's been there for about 5 years and it has yet to show up on the NAVTEQ discs even today (that applies to Honda's current disc as well as BMW's). And this is a huge mall in the middle of nowhere, where you'd want the Nav to be finding it while on a long trip, etc. (I've submitted that one, too, several times but they don't seem to care.)
Obviously I decided that buying annual updates (at least in Cal) from NAVTEQ was like getting robbed, so I stopped buying them every year.
I don't know the current situation, but I remember back around 2000-2001 or so that NAVTEQ essentially had a monopoly on US data - in the sense the they supplied MSN Maps, Microsoft Streets & Trips, every car nav system at the time, etc. It's nice to see that there is finally some competition.
I don't know if you've all seen some of the screenshots of the new 2009 E90 Nav system showing 3D renditions of the BMW headquarters on the map. Looks cool, but based on my previous disappointments with NAVTEQ, I'm fully expecting to find NONE of that cool stuff on US maps despite the switch to Teleatlas - that stuff requires effort to be spent by the mapping company, and frankly there is little reason for them to go the extra mile once they have the deal with a car manufacturer. I.e. once you buy the car, it's not like you can choose whose's disc to buy.....