Google Dumps TeleAtlas Street Maps, Raising Many Questions

Oct 8, 2009 Michael Wurzer

Google announced yesterday that they are now sourcing a lot of their street mapping data from government sources. What wasn’t immediately clear from their announcement, though, is that they are no longer using TeleAtlas data for their base street maps in the U.S. Instead, apparently Google now owns their own base street maps, and is including parcel maps for many counties across the country.

It may not be immediately obvious, but this is a BIG deal to anyone who uses map data and it raises a ton of questions. What will the terms of Google’s licensing be now that they no longer have to pay TeleAtlas for the base map? Given that they are sourcing the data from many government sources, will Google be providing the data they get from users back to the counties? Will they contribute this base map to any open source efforts like Open Street Map?

I’m very curious what others have experienced in terms of pricing from Google lately for Enterprise Map Services. Our renewal was more than interesting, and it was shortly prior to this announcement that they are no longer using TeleAtlas. I’m really hoping Google is intending to live up to their “Do No Evil” motto, because there’s a ton of potential here for them to be building a huge base map with tons of data from government sources that they control.