Future Digital Maps will rely on user generated content says ABI Research

Future Digital Maps will rely on user generated content says ABI Research


London, UK, December 12, 2007 – The expected growth of handset-based pedestrian navigation and location based services will have a drastic impact on the traditional map production technologies, as they will no longer be able to generate and update the exponentially growing volume of required map details.

“User-Generated Digital Maps and POIs” is the new study from ABI Research, examines the major user-generated location content features, players, trends, drivers and barriers.

According to the company, by 2012 a large part of all map and POI content will be generated by more than 50 million active members of user communities. “TomTom Map Share is the first commercial implementation of user-generated map content technology directly on a Personal Navigation Device (PND),” says ABI Research principal analyst Dominique Bonte. “Map corrections or POI additions can be input on the device on the fly and instantly uploaded and shared with the rest of the TomTom Map Share community. AND (Automotive Navigation Data) has recently made available an online digital map which can be modified by all users based on Web 2.0 technology, allowing AND to produce maps more quickly and at a lower cost.”

Europe is already leading the way, Bonte says, as several open POI-community projects such as GPS-Waypoints, TellmeWhere, and GyPSii have recently launched, some of which have attracted venture capital funding. Advertising is expected to be the main revenue source for these ventures, though Bonte says that opportunities may still exist to sell packaged content to navigation vendors.

The study also says that Geocontent will become an important new dimension of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, creating synergies with Geoweb and POI-community related initiatives. Ultimately all mobile devices will become connected, accessing web-based geocontent from a variety of sources.

The report also contains forecasts for the number of community-ready navigation devices and the number of active users involved in user-generated content initiatives. It forms part of the Automotive Infotainment and Location Aware Services Research Services.