NAVTEQ’s pedestrian navigation coverage grows

NAVTEQ has reached a major pedestrian milestone, adding Johannesburg, South Africa as the 100th city to NAVTEQ Discover Cities.

This is particularly significant given the sheer depth and complexity of the pedestrian navigation data NAVTEQ specialists collect, based on a single, global specification. For example, when walking the world’s cities they meticulously collect over 50 pedestrian-specific attributes, ranging from footbridges and park paths, to public transport access points and stop locations.

A key benefit of NAVTEQ’s robust specification and “feet on the street” is the inclusion of “shortcuts” that are used by local residents to save time. These shortcuts may be via unmarked paths through parks, plazas or even publicly accessible buildings – with, of course, time of day restrictions. Without this additional data, applications may generate a route that involves only pavements when, in reality, significantly shorter options are possible.

For example, to reach the popular Berlin tourist destinations of Rotes Rathaus and St. Marienkirche using the S-Bahn, pedestrians would be instructed to exit at Alexanderplatz. From the station exit, they would be guided on foot using commonly used shortcuts which cut across green spaces to provide the most direct route. Whilst appearing simple, the content and data representation required for this type of routing represents a formidable challenge and is only possible with Discover Cities.

In order to provide the option of using the public transport system within a route, a great deal of information is needed (the position of bus and rail stations/stops and their entrances/exits; train and bus network information; and transfer locations) and must be seamlessly linked to the pedestrian network. In addition, the public transport data can enable applications to generate a variety of options so travellers can make appropriate individual choices – for example someone rushing to catch a flight can decide if driving or taking the train offers the fastest route.

The unique combination of insightful data in Discover Cities helps pedestrians navigate to their destinations via a variety of routes, including those entirely on foot – or (if it’s too far to walk), with portions aboard public transport. And, using NAVTEQ Discover Cities data, pedestrian navigation applications can also show exactly where to access and exit the public transport system. NAVTEQ works closely with public transport operators sourcing information on, for example, schedule updates and new access points to help application providers deliver the best routing options to pedestrians on the go.

Discover Cities already powers several on-foot commercially available devices and applications throughout the world including: Garmin’s CityXplorer(TM) maps, Networks In Motion (NIM) Gokivo(TM) Navigator for the Blackberry and Ovi Maps by Nokia.

See press release here.

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