Amsterdam based navigation service company TomTom has expanded its coverage of the Asia Pacific region including India and has introduced new features to its maps products. The company claimed that its maps now cover 51 countries and territories across Asia Pacific and provides road navigation coverage of 8 million kilometers across 15 countries.
Among the new features introduced in the latest release of TomTom’s map products include:
– Introduction of Voice Maps in Thai and Bahasa Indonesian. The company claimed that this is the first Voice Maps product which supports various tonal languages i.e. languages where different tones of a word have different meanings.
– Launching street network mapping in over 100 cities in India and upgrading its coverage of nearly 83,000km in China to full attribution in order to support third party navigation applications.
– Improved visualizations with additional 3D landmarks for Important buildings, 2D building footprints and new Junction Views for complex intersections throughout the region.
– Addition of nearly 1 million Address Points throughout the region to support accurate geocoding and navigation.
– Addition of lane and signpost information for inner-city areas of central Bangkok and improvements in content and coverage of Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.
Implications: In March 2012, TomTom had partnered with the Taiwanese mobile handset maker, HTC, to provide maps, points of interest and turn-by-turn directions for all HTC smartphones in India. So it’s quite possible that TomTom might extend the new street maps to these smartphones. It should also be noted that TomTom has a series of navigation devices- ‘Via Series’ which are available across various retailers like Reliance Digital, Reliance Autozone, Car Nation, and about 70 more independent car accessories stores nationwide, as well as online stores such as Flipkart.
Street Maps in iOS 6? Apple had recently previewed a brand new Maps app which will be replacing Google Maps as the default maps app from iOS 6, the next major release of iOS mobile operating system. What’s interesting though is that Apple had signed a global agreement with TomTom as a primary iOS 6 maps provider for an undisclosed amount. So it’s quite possible that Apple will leverage this partnership to offer street maps and related information for Indian cities on its iOS devices.
Competition: Location based services and maps company MapMyIndia currently offers street-wise maps of various Indian cities in its mapping products and had recently launched a mobile website which offers maps, driving directions and local search feature on all GPRS enabled smartphones. Besides that, Google and Nokia also offer street-wise maps on Android, Windows Phone and Symbian mobile platforms through Google Maps and Nokia Maps, respectively.