Satellite navigation company Tom Tom has found a cunning way round the problem of pesky roadbuilders undoing all their hard work mapping the highways and byways of Britain. It has added an editing feature to its latest Tom Tom GPS products.
Map Share lets drivers correct outdated mapping information displayed by their digital driving companion. This includes unmarked roads previously not shown on the Tom Tom maps and streets that were previously navigable but have been blocked off.
Map Share lets Tom Tom users update details with a few clicks on the touchscreens of their portable satnav devices, changing the names of streets, the navigation status of roads and reporting other errors. It was already possible for Tom Tom owners to make changes to the POIs (points of interest).
Map Share works on similar principles to many web-based peer-qualification applications such as Wikipedia. Users can not only tweak the details displayed on the maps of their own Tom Tom satnav device – the amendments are also dynamically updated for users of other Map Share devices whenever they visit the Tom Tom HOME hub. In this way, claims Tom Tom, its customers will always have access to the most up-to-date maps.
Should the update prove erroneous or merely temporary – say while a road is being upgraded making diversions necessary – other Tom Tom users can make subsequent alterations. As a further check, Tom Tom representatives go and inspect the road in question to confirm the user input is correct, rather than mischief-making.
A Tom Tom spokesman told PC Advisor the "Tom Tom folks go and check the area before the correction is adopted, verifying any changes before they are implemented" and uploaded.
Map Share is a free application that can be downloaded from tomtom.com. It will be available on new Tom Tom devices, starting with the GO 520 and 720, announced today.