Why all this press about mapmaking? D'oh! Of course!
It's about advertising on the mobile device, Homer (in a good mood after last night's clever Simpson's Movie). I read this week in the New York Times (7/27/07 page A1 by Miguel Helft) that the next iteration of consumer-generated content will be map-making or map-refining by adding text, audio, and images to existing maps. People are annotating hiking trails, vacation travel, and neighborhood entertainment. Many of the necessary on-line tools are furnished by Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. Hmm.
Then I remembered that the gasoline station only a few blocks from my home is not identified on a Google maps search of 'gas stations' near my home address. Indeed, there is plenty of opportunity to improve search results on the mobile device. If the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft want to own search on the mobile device so that they can own advertising revenues related to the results, then my device has better offer me a deep and broad range of accurate results.
Today's local paper (Raleigh News & Observer) reprinted an article by Dave Carpenter (Digital Maps Get Food, Gas, Lodging) describing the acquistiton of Tom Tom by the Dutch company Tele Atlas and the consequent opportunity and challenge to NavTeq, who provides much of the content of Google Maps and high end GPS systems (kind used by the likes of Mercedes and BMW).
Will the NavTeq model of professional cartographers be able to hold sway over the rise of a Wikipedia or Mappedia-like movement of amateur cartographers described in the Times?
If there is to be big money made in mobile search (advertising revenues based upon location), then location awareness has to be thorough and reliable. cperrien