Thursday, March 20, 2008

Satnav goes 3D

Satnav devices could in future tell you how wide and high a bridge is and maybe even show you what colour it's painted.

Three-dimensional navigation mapping software could be used to produce more realistic and more detailed displays for mapsets that will include the identification of landmarks and street-level identifying features.

Ray Wilkinson, MD of local digital mapping company MapIT, said: "You will see aspects of your route that will stand out on the display in full three-dimensional form, almost like a PlayStation environment Tele Atlas has acquired 49 percent of MapIT from map production studio Georigin."

He was speaking at a presentation announcing a partnership between MapIT (a supplier of Southern African map data) and Tele Atlas, a world supplier of digital mapping content.

MapIT provides navigation data to suppliers of personal navigation devices such as Garmin, Tom Tom, Siemens VDO, Mio and JNC and mapping data to tracking and fleet management suppliers, emergency services, call centres, the government, the defence force, utility companies, mobile phone applications and web mapping services.

The partnership means Tele Atlas has acquired 49 percent of MapIT, a shareholding originally held by Pretoria map production studio Georigin. The acquisition gives Tele Atlas access to MapIT's Southern Africa mapping data and gives existing MapIT clients access to global data.

Growing demand
Tele Atlas covers about 475 474km of SA roads with 122 846 points of interest. MapIT retains management of the local operation but will continue to expand its coverage of Africa through its international affiliation with Tele Atlas.

Local demand for personal navigation data trebled through 2006 to the end of 2007 with the 2010 sub-Saharan forecast estimating that around 500 000 personal navigation devices will soon be active.

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