Satnav maps: spot the difference

22 Jun 2012

Maps aren't all equal - we compare four services to reveal the differences

We compared four satnav systems - Google, Navteq, OpenStreetMap and TomTom - at two UK locations to see how they fared with unexpected road closures and how much detail they offer.

Westminster Bridge Road

Google maps says you can drive from Westminster Bridge Road to York Road (A302), but it's out of date:

Google

Navteq's maps are more accurate than Google's here, marking the top of York Road as closed to normal traffic:

NavTeq

OpenStreetMap's data offers an incredibly detailed view, but marks York Road as accessible to cars from the south:

OpenStreetMap

TomTom's maps match up with Navteq and route drivers around the roundabout, not down the closed south end of York Road:

TomTom

Stapleford Airfield

Google Maps shows Stapleford Airfield in detail, but the access road is missing, which means routing is impossible:

Google

Satnavs with Navteq maps can't show drivers the way either. There's hardly and detail of the airfield and, again, no access road:

NavTeq

OpenStreetMap initially showed no access road, but after a few minutes of editing, we were able to add it in the right place:

OpenStreetMap

TomTom, on the other hand, shows the airfield and access road, so drivers can be guided successfully right to the doorstep:

TomTom

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Analysis