Ok so I was on a little vacation that’s why no new posts to the blog but I promise a few tips or hints in the next couple of days.
One thing I notice before leaving on my trip was how the different mapping services on the web work for getting directions, and the different results they return. I’m talking about google Maps, Yahoo Maps and Mapquest when you query them for driving directions. Now my trip started here in my home town to friends in Pine Bluff, AR then to Degray Lake AR. OF course I knew the way to Pine Bluff but wanted to check the easy way to get from there to Degray Lake. After all I would be driving a new (new to me) Motorhome and needed some idea of how long it was going to take and how much gas to have on board before starting out. BTW the trip went great.
So I plug the info into the web pages and pretty much get the same info from them other than different ways to get on the interstate from here at the home town. Comes to find out that the directions from Pine Bluff to Degray Lake would work ok but that’s not the way our friends took us. Seems there was a new road build a while back (2 years) and it by passed a lot of small towns that the web services had us going around by means of interstate.
I also notice the different directions when headed up to NY for my trips, each mapping service returns the same interstate routes but different routes to get on and off the interstate. So where are these web mapping services getting the info from and how are they querying that info to get the results? I suspect they get some info from TeleAlas but it’s not current with in a year or two and some data may be from any local source they can get for free. The problem comes with buying data from someone or some place and having it current and up to date. Anyone that has downloaded data for their maps know it may not be up to date. The data is current only during the time frame that it is captured. It has to be processed, converted to other formats then marketed to the map services.
Would it not be great if every one used a standard format for mapping then when we in the mapping field completed a new project we pushed a button on our desktop and it uploaded and updated all the other mapping services out there. My point is take a look at the “OSGeo” site and see the support that AutoDesk is giving for this one button updating.