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Are We Getting TomTom GPS With StreetView?

  Posted at 06:00:00 PM
  File under  GPS Gadgets
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Travelling

If you look at the "spy" photo below of this van, you can clearly see a few thing:

1) the car belongs to the Dutch GPS manufacturer TomTom Open link in a new window, and

2) the thing stacked above the car is a 360° camera.

TomTom Streetview Car

The only other vehicles with such a camera belong to Google for their StreetView function for Google Maps. For those of you who don't know what StreetView is, it the ability to follow a road and see all parts of the road, left, right, ahead and behind on your PC. Google has been driving along the roads in the world photographing cities (often with hilarious results).

Now it looks like TomTom is doing the same here in Europe. It could of course mean something totally different, but TomTom's business is GPSs. And as such there's a good possibility that future generations of TomTom GPSs will offer a street view when following navigational instructions.

It makes sense if you think about it. Today, when navigating you get a drawing of the road to follow, sometimes quite difficult to interpret, especially when riding a motorcycle. Having a photo of the street ahead, with navigation signs could make it a lot easier. Already one motorcycle rides web site is offering the use of Google's StreetView (article Open link in a new window).

Here's a standard Google StreetView:

Google Streetview Paris

.. and this is what a TomTom GPS could look like. Makes it easier than following a map..

Google Streetview Paris Direction

So we will see how long before this reaches our navigation devices...

Via: Engadget

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