By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY, NSW: NAVTEQ has entered into an agreement with Microsoft that will see both parties share technology. It promises a faster technological response for NAVTEQ and better mapping for Microsoft on the company’s Bing online maps

Microsoft promises to make life easier, particularly with Windows 7, but the company will also provide technology to NAVTEQ with the aim being to more rapidly deploy collection capabilities and accelerate the collection, creation and storage of 3D map data and visuals. In return the collaboration aims to provide Microsoft with 3D map data and visuals to power new mapping features.

NAVTEQ is a global provider of digital map, traffic and location data for in-vehicle, portable, wireless and enterprise solutions. For the past 10 years, NAVTEQ has supplied Microsoft with map data. This new relationship, however, proposes to develop 3D collection technologies to enable the capture of a range of advanced navigable map features at higher levels of accuracy and more accurate scale.

NAVTEQ plans to integrate the new technologies into its field collection vehicles that are a team of university qualified cartographers. Having the NAVTEQ mappers on the road recording 3D landmarks will accelerate the integration of 3D visuals into the NAVTEQ maps and other products. And Microsoft will be able to use the 3D visuals in its Bing Maps.

“Microsoft is extremely enthusiastic about this new chapter in its relationship with NAVTEQ and is focused on bringing the mapping experience alive for our consumers, using street level visuals powered by NAVTEQ,” said Microsoft corporate vice president of MSN Erik Jorgensen.

“The opportunity to work more closely with NAVTEQ and leverage our respective technological strengths for the overall advancement of this type of data collection is a true ‘win- win’ for both companies, and for consumers.”

Cliff Fox, executive vice president, NAVTEQ Maps said that the collaboration means better quality data.

“NAVTEQ continues to believe that the quality of data collection, which provides the building blocks for the underlying digital map in any navigation or location-enabled device, is paramount to a superior user experience,” said Fox.

“Microsoft shares this view, and openly welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with NAVTEQ in new ways to accelerate the development of technologies which we believe are crucial to the growing expectations of consumers using NAVTEQ maps.”