A Look at Underlying Mapping Technology

Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land points to an interesting St. Louis Post Dispatch article about the software and development processes from the likes of Navteq that sit underneath Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, MapQuest and others. It’s an interesting look at a part of the equation that we rarely examine  including challenges like updating road construction information.

One interesting challenge that we’ve explored in the past is known as the “last block problem”: mapping software extrapolates an address’ location within a block based on its number, but doesn’t definitively know exactly where it is. This must be solved before online mapping reaches the next stage in its evolution and an increased level of granularity. User participation (businesses that can specify their own exact locations) is one way to approach this problem.

Check out the article and our mapping Advisory from earlier this year, Maps: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Going?

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