Thoughts on HERE

When was the last time you bought a CD? Come to think of it, when was the last time you plugged an iPod into your computer and synced music from iTunes?

That’s what I thought.

The fact that HERE may be for sale (publicly, which is somewhat unusual in the world of acquisitions) and that it languishes is really no surprise. (“Reviewing strategic options” is a vaguebooking/subtweeting way of saying “Make us an offer.”) HERE is the CD of navigation. Many years ago, I supported a customer that did a lot of multi-modal transportation analysis. In the pre-OSM world, you had TIGER and a handful of commercial data providers. (Remember ETAK?) This was around the time that in-vehicle navigation was becoming commonplace in personal vehicles. The data in those systems, NavTech, was highly sought after but unavailable in standard GIS formats at the time. After a while, NavTech entered the GIS data realm, and its US product became the flagship commercial data set in the HSIP Gold database; a status it holds to this day. In some government circles, users clamored to get NavTech/Navteq/HERE data for their analysis. The rest of the world, however, has moved on.

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Navteq MapReporter

I was attending a working group meeting yesterday and learned of Navteq’s MapReporter site. It is a system they have implemented to allow users to report data errors to Navteq. The interface seems very intuitive. It even does a good job of picking locations from partial addresses. The image below shows that map interface:

Navteq MapReporter map interface

Once in, there is a standard form so that you can report the nature of the data error. Here is a screen shot (the address in the map above is not the same one I used in the form, which is why it’s blurred here):

Navteq MapReporter entry from

I was able to pretty quickly report an error. One nice feature is that the system gives you a tracking number so you can check the status of your issue. You can submit a report as a guest or you can create an account. I have not created an account yet to see what that does for you because the page that allows you to create an account (supplying your personal info) does not use SSL (although the login page for those who have accounts does). They may want to fix that. Otherwise, it seems like a nice tool and a good way to keep the database up to date.