The European cartographer TeleAtlas was founded in the Netherlands in the 1980s, and began building digital maps. It has had a presence in the Asian region since the early 1990s.
However, it did not sell much product. Buyers were put off by the high price tag on the data and even more expensive hardware.
But things change. Fully competent navigation systems can now run on a PDA, and sub-$1000 devices are now commonplace. Consumers love it.
TeleAtlas recently announced the availability of digital maps of South-east Asian countries. The updated TeleAtlas MultiNet database includes maps of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The maps contain more than 200,000 points of interest. They can be used in in-car navigation, and on many mobile phones.
TeleAtlas recently signed a licence and distribution agreement with Beijing Changdi Youhao Mapping Technologies, which is an affiliate of China-based Ritu Information Systems.
That agreement will give TeleAtlas Asia Pacific full map coverage of 337 Chinese cities, complete with censor codes.
Last year, Navteq, TeleAtlas’s US rival, set up a number of regional offices and joint ventures to cover most Asian territories. Its databases include street networks of major urban areas in Malaysia. It also has address data for all of Singapore, and a street network of Bangkok.
The company has also announced plans to complete coverage of many other Asian locations.
Another major player in the market is Automotive Navigation Data in the Netherlands. AND currently has street maps of Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore on its website.