• John

    Ok, so Telenav here proposes that Open Street Map is its ticket to eclipse Google in navigation and location based services. It says here that Scout is more highly rated that Google Navigation, and that has historically been the case. I use both navigation services a fair amount. In a couple of recent cases I was badly misrouted by Scout, including making an illegal u-turn that took me away from my destination such that it took a long time to overcome the misroute. I checked out the running commentary by Scout users on Play Store, and I noticed very many loyal Scout users posting similar comments – generally saying Scout has become less reliable since late 2013, and there are lots of comments about Scout giving u-turn instructions that are inappropriate.

    So I took a closer look at the POIs I was trying to reach and the street maps in Scout vs. Google. Actually, I drove the shopping complex and noted the actual location of all shops in the center, and then I entered each business in Google and Scout to check their locations. The results surprised me a bit:
    * Telenav misplaced 17 of the 21 shops and my search gave no result for 4
    * Google misplaced 13 of the 21 shops and my search gave no result for 2

    Google Maps had a bit more street geometry inside the shopping center than the Telenav street map did. Google’s street map also handles the blocks/address ranges differently; I can’t definitively say which provider’s map best matches the post office, but in my opinion the Google street map practically seems to work better for navigation in this instance because Google’s map ends the address range for the block with the shops closer to where the last shop is, while the map Telenav is using ends that block a half mile or so farther east.

    So there appear to be 3 factors making the Telenav route instructions unworkable in this case:
    * Telenav lumps the location of all 17 shops it can find to the end of the block
    * The end of the block is far from the destination – out of sight and not in a place where it’s easy to re-route
    * Telenav’s street map apparently doesn’t contain the info that the intersection is posted left turn only (no U-Turn.)

    Remember, Google’s map didn’t precisely locate most of the shops either, and Google lumps most of the points of interest to one location, too, but at least it’s a location inside the parking lot of the shopping center. So Google Nav routes your car to a point where you can look around and figure a way to get the last few yards to your destinations.

    Essentially, it looks like more organized effort has gone into the Google solution in this location than the Telenav solution, and there’s some level of organized strategy that considers both street address range layout and POI placement.

    So heres the question:

    If the premise is that Telenav is going to crowdsource a better navigation solution than Google, what’s Telenav’s plan to motivate all the individual contributors in Open Street Map to collaboratively produce one, organized, consistent solution that combines what needs to happen with address ranges, POI placement and local regulatory rules?