Google bids fare-thee-well to TA in the US of A

Google says up yours farewell to TeleAtlas in the US, see this blog post. Europe has to be next what with the unknown (wink wink) patron which caused the AND share price jump (press release).

I’m sure Google will now want to release this data due to popular support given their own want to know “… why do they [Transport for London] make it so difficult to license their schedule data..” (link) and thus the clear problems surrounding closed map data.

So have a click around on Google Maps and see what it’s like to have (c) Google at the bottom right instead of (c) TeleAtlas 🙂

update Lots of comments on a post by James Fee

Google didn’t pay shit for this crap. They roll into city/county with “free” google earth pro licenses and the city/county gives them everything for free.

Happened to us and I know someone out on the left coast who had the same sales pitch.

Which sounds eerily familiar to the way they hoovered up transit data to the exclusion of others. Also see a post by Peter Batty

7 thoughts on “Google bids fare-thee-well to TA in the US of A

  1. Joe Hughes

    Hey Steve, regarding your potshot about transit data, if you know of any cases in which Google’s efforts have made it harder rather than easier to get access to public transport data, please let me know. I’ve invested a great deal of effort to ensure that Google’s work didn’t “exclude” others in that area, and I’m happy to see that the efforts on the OSM talk-transit list are beginning to bear fruit.

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  3. Techlady


    For those of us who are less cognizant of the current issues in the mapping world, it would have been helpful to give some context for your snippy comments. Obviously, something important is happening here, but, without context, I don’t know how to interpret what you said. Maybe you were entitled to be snippy. Who knows?
    I’m a journalist, and any good news story gives context, so a wide range of readers can understand. For example:
    –What is Google Earth (I know, I know, but some people aren’t familiar with it)?
    –What is TeleAtlas and how was it affiliated with Google Earth?
    –What is the expected impact of the change in the relationship?
    –Why do you think Europe is next?
    –What is the difference between what Google provides and other map providers?
    –Who are your sources for some of your statements?
    –The veracity of one thing you said already has been challenged. How do you respond?
    Maybe you think this is unnecessary, but I think it’s critical if I’m going to spend time reading what you write. That’s the difference between real journalism and superficial blogs.

  4. SteveC Post author

    Techlady – I provided links with more in depth analysis, or Google/wikipedia can answer most of your questions.

    Joe – I’ve heard the story a number of times about people trying to access data from local transit offices that the Google aura automatically makes free for them. Turns out that without the aura you have a harder and more expensive time. Sounds like a similar story is happening with base data too from the comments on Fee’s blog. Not entirely Google’s fault, but then not entirely without blame either?

  5. Joe Hughes

    Thanks for clarifying your statement. I’d say there’s a significant difference between “some agencies have been comfortable providing data to Google Maps but not to others” and Google is doing something “to the exclusion of others”.

    Furthermore, I would argue that the Google Transit project has more often been instrumental in facilitating the release of production-quality transit data to developers. Once an agency has been through the Google Maps launch process, the technical and data quality barriers to data release are solved, though admittedly the political problems often remain.

    Finally, as you can see from the comments on Fee’s blog, it’s easy to overstate the power of the “aura”. Don’t forget that Google Transit first launched in 2005, and for most of its first year had to make do with a single city’s data! The name brand helps, to be sure, but Google also spent years talking to agencies and waiting for their minds to change.

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