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Play With TomTom: Nav Company Opens Arms to Developers

Sections: Navigation

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A TomTom In-Car Navigation Unit

Known primarily for standalone in-car navigation units like this one, you may not know TomTom also supplies mapping info for a number of popular smartphone manufacturers including Apple, RIM, and HTC. Now, the company is announcing a new cloud-based tool to let developers use that mapping data for their own apps in hopes it will spread TomTom’s mapping environment and brand further in an era when more drivers are relying on smartphones and tablets to give them directions, tell them about traffic conditions, and more. (TomTom photo courtesy GPS Magazine.)

TomTom may be one of the biggest developers of aftermarket in-car navigation systems, but it has designs on growing even bigger.

According to CNET, the company is opening up its mapping data to software developers in hopes that the company will start having a larger presence in location-based mobile apps such as fleet management tools, route planning, and traffic data mapping.

The CNET article said TomTom, though one of the world’s largest in-car navigation brands, has struggled as more and more people have started using smartphones and tablets equipped with mapping apps to find their way around rather than relying on a standalone GPS unit of the type that was TomTom’s bread-and-butter for years. In response, the company has started providing its mapping information to a number of clients including Apple, RIM, HTC, Samsung, and Google.

Based in the cloud, the developer-friendly service offers a free trial use period, but requires developers to pay a fee if the content is used for commercial purposes, according to Reuters.

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