speed and ease of updates (openstreetmap vs commercial providers)

Posted by Welshie on 6 March 2013 in English (English)

Recently, a one-way road I use has become closed to motor traffic, and is now a two-way cycleway. Because people have been complaining that satnavs have been sending people the wrong way, I though that a day or so after updating openstreetmap, I'd try to notify the commercial mapping companies and see how easy it is to report their routing as inaccurate.

Openstreetmap was the quickest, but I know the tools, I could do it myself, using Potlatch. It showed up on Mapnik in minutes, and routing engines like will probably get their routing data refreshed in a day or two.

Google Maps was pretty much the easiest of the commercial providers, from an end-user's perspective. I plotted a route, and clicked on report a problem with a route, selected the leg of the route, and gave a plain english description of what needed changing, and some oompah loompah's at the chocolate factory will at some point (probably in a week or two) update their map data, so anyone using Google Maps / Google Navigation won't be send the wrong way in their motor vehicles. Google Maps already highlighted the fact that the road was temporarily closed for road works (yet it still offered it as a car routing route).

Navteq (now Nokia maps) was reasonably easy, I could select a segment of road, and request tags to be changed to state it's now two-way and that motorised traffic was not allowed, however, I was not able to tag it as a cycle way. It seems that they don't do cycle mapping. Garmin users might see the changes in as little as three months from now.

Tele Atlas (now Tomtom) was impossible.I signed up to the web site, went to the map reporting tool, and could zoom in to the area, but had no way of actually proceeding to reporting a problem with the map, the instructions on how to report problems with the map data didn't reflect reality.. Apparently, if you have a suitable tomtom device, you can report problems directly from there, rather than theie web site. I don't have one to try it.

Location: Temple, Inner and Middle Temples, City of London, Greater London, England, EC4Y 7DA, United Kingdom

Comment from CycleStreets on 6 March 2013 at 13:50

Your blog gives some assumptions about update times from the proprietary map providers, e.g. "probably in a week or two" and "as little as three months from now". Out of interest, what are these based on - are there any published times anywhere or evidence for these?

(And yes, we do a fresh import every few days - thanks for the mention!)

Comment from Welshie on 6 March 2013 at 14:03

I have in the past reported a turn restriction to Google. They fixed it in a fortnight. I guess it's down to how busy the oompah loompahs are.

I found an article about Garmin's map release schedule, and the data comes from Navteq's release schedule, which was quarterly. Tomtom, I don't know, but there's mentions of a nearly-quarterly release schedule' for whole map releases.

Comment from LivingWithDragons on 7 March 2013 at 13:07

It also depends on if the oompah loompahs like you and/or believe that the road has really changed.

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