Ok, so this is probably pretty pedestrian for most real geospatial users out there. There’s a little write-up in Digital Trends about how mapping companies like Tele Atlas get their navigation information. However it’s nice to see some inside photos of the toys with a bit of discussion of how they all work. The article says “GPS”, but I think they’re speaking more specifically about navigation systems. Of note for Sue, they use her beloved IBM Thinkpad for their data collection!
Interestingly enough was the miles these guys travel to collect data – 50-300 miles per day, depending on the area they’re collecting. In a van that gets what I’m betting is in the neighborhood of 15-17mpg and gas around $3.00 per gallon…. now you know why the data is so expensive