Google may already be using TomTom-owned TeleAtlas to supply much of its mapping data in Europe, but it reaffirmed its commitment to the Dutch company on Monday with a contract for five more years worth maps. Although financial details were not disclosed, the agreement will be an unusual two-way exchange, with Google supplying Tele Atlas with user-submitted map modifications to keep its map data accurate and updated.
The contract gives Google access to map data for more than 200 countries, and the flexibility to use the data across all its mapping platforms, including the familiar Web-based Google Maps, the downloadable program Google Earth, and Google Maps for Mobile, which should be making an appearance on upcoming Android-based phones. Tele Atlas, which already updates its maps with user-submitted data from TomTom GPS devices, will gain access to Google Maps’ community edits, which allow users to more accurately peg addresses and businesses on an existing map.
Currently, Tele Atlas and its Nokia-owned competitor Navteq are the biggest players in digital mapping, with Google acting as a customer to both services along with a handful of smaller map providers like Europa Technologies and Basarsoft.