TomTom Geographic Data Technologies

TomTom is a Dutch manufacturer of automotive navigation systems, or sat navs to be used in the car. The company was founded in 1991 and sold business applications such as geographic data science, meter readers and barcode readers up until 1996 when the company started delving into PDA and spatial data infrastructure. The first actual sat nav was released in 2002 – the TomTom Navigator.

TomTom is certainly one of the main brand names that springs to mind when the words “sat nav” are mentioned. What we want to know is, how well does it actually perform in a working environment?
I asked a team of electricians who used the device how they felt about its effectiveness. Working on-site in numerous locations means that electricians and other contractors may use navigation devices frequently, inputting and finding their way to many different addresses, some of which will be unlisted.

The device the electricians were equipped with was the basic TomTom One which does not possess Bluetooth connectivity. One plus point with the TomTom would be the ability to change the voice that barks out the directions at you. If the user gets fed up of the current voice they can change the accent (the favourite being the Australian), whether or not it’s male or female, or even the language itself. The latest offering from TomTom is Snoop Dogg’s pearls of wisdom coming live out ya speaker with classics such as this: “de-part, come on man let’s get dis thang cranked up. In five hund-ed yards go around the roundabout, round and round we go, y’ know?”
“Fifth exit,” the rapper adds, almost as an afterthought.

What else does it do?

Other functions include night viewing mode, iPhone apps and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as USB linkup to the PC to download the latest maps. A favourite of the sample group was the ability to trace the user’s route when following an unknown path, so that the same road can be stored in the database and used for a repeat journey.
Another plus point the electricians raved about was the ability to connect the TomTom up almost like a hands-free kit, playing voice from phone calls and music out of the speakers.