Saturday, September 30, 2006

How The Maps Are Made

Interesting article on the behind the scenes world of online map database making and techniques. Too bad they chose the worst one for the title ;)

Map Quest

Some interesting tidbits:

-Williams stares at his email inbox: a solid wall of news alerts from Yahoo and Google. His search terms aren't the usual fare, like "Hilary Duff." They're more like "Tulsa city one-way" – queries that will help Williams track down announcements of road changes reported by local newspapers. Today has been slow, but suddenly he lights up. An email has arrived containing a newspaper report that a particular one-way road segment in northwest Indiana is changing from westbound to eastbound. Sweet!

-GDT acquired detailed aerial photography of major cities. "We could look at a street and see which way cars were parked, even tire rubber going into intersections, and deduce 85 percent of the turn restrictions and one-way attributes,"

-"We've had projects with pizza-delivery companies where we've printed out for them a big wall map of their 30-minute delivery area. The guys mark things that are wrong and send it back to us," says former GDT president Mike Gerling, who now heads Tele Atlas' North American division.

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