Why better traffic data means more than just a faster commute

Companies such as Inrix are making their money helping commuters and commercial drivers find the fastest routes through traffic, but their reach could go much further. Creative organizations can apply the data in entirely new areas, and crowdsourcing means seeing how the world moves.

More finger pointing over the quality of Apple Maps

TomTom, one of the companies supplying mapping information for Apple’s Maps app, defends the quality of its data. There’s been much mockery of the new Maps app since iOS 6 arrived Wednesday, and TomTom suggests that Apple’s integration of its data is the problem.

TomTom gets social, adds Foursquare to iPhone nav app

Standalone GPS navigation makers continue to face the battle against smartphones and location based service apps. At least one of them is embracing the change: TomTom first added support for Facebook Places and now it includes Foursquare, making it easier to get directions and check-in.

A weapon for electric vehicle range anxiety: GPS

GPS can provide an important function for the emerging electric car industry: battling so-called range anxiety. On Monday, electric car charging company Coulomb Technologies announced that it has partnered with navigation company TomTom to offer charging locator, reservation and information services for plug-in car drivers.

It’s Time to Realize Our Location Concerns Aren’t Dumb

Hot on the heels of the furor over Apple’s location databases, personal navigation device giant TomTom is in trouble for selling speed data to police. But both companies have shown how technology firms are too quick to dismiss the worries of their customers.

How Free Changed the Navigation Game Forever

Free and bundled mobile navigation services are bringing once-pricey turn-by-turn services to the masses, and the masses are responding in a big way. That’s the upshot of a new study which found that the number of mobile users utilizing turn-by-turn navigation on their handset increased.

Google Maps Navigation Comes to Older Android Phones

Google today launched its popular Google Maps Navigation (beta) for older devices that use Android OS version 1.6 or higher. It debuted as a free feature on Android 2.0 (Droid) handsets a few weeks ago and was received with much enthusiasm. Now devices such as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and the G1 will be able to use the Internet-connected navigation system that offers voice-based guidance and automatic routing. “This release also includes the new Layers feature, which lets you overlay geographical information on the map. View My Maps, transit lines, Wikipedia articles about places, and more,” Google notes on its blog. Since I don’t drive, this system isn’t of much use to me. But I have seen some friends use it, and it’s pretty darn good — enough so to cause a long-term migraine for others in the dedicated GPS business. (Related post: “With Maps Navigation, Google Fires Another Shot at Carriers”)