Online Mapping

By Deane Barker on July 11, 2003

In Parts Unknown: Ever wonder how they keep online maps so current? An exercise in the obvious: they employ people to drive around with GPS units in their cars and write down addresses:

“Privately held Navigation Technologies is one of the world’s biggest digital mapmakers and expects revenue of $200 million this year. A third of the Chicago-based firm’s workforce — more than 400 field analysts — drive the roads, filling in the gaps in maps.”

From earlier in the piece:

“…Clark turned off Lee Highway into Buckley’s Reserve. ‘Mayde Court,’ Clark told Cushing, who wrote the words on a digital pad that produces yellow script on his laptop. ‘4881 on the right,’ she said while making a slow right into a street with one house and several open lots. Cushing scribbled.”