How are digital maps produced?
In order to let your navigation device find an address, calculate a route, display a 3D road segment, or manage any other kind of content in just a few seconds, harmonized teamwork is essential. Map making is a multi-phase process, each stage of which may have a fundamental effect on the final data quality of the end product.
Map making starts with the precise processing of the well-selected basic data. In the first steps, the precise (in meters) air and satellite photographs, track logs recorded by GPS, address databases, and highly detailed paper maps are processed. Based on the above data, a road network is created, which lays a solid foundation for the navigation database.
To make the data accurate and navigatable, on-site surveys are carried out. The surveys are conducted with the use of a specially equipped car (e.g. very precise GPS equipment, camera, tablet PC, etc.) and a home-developed survey software. The regional experts responsible for the data capture all the relevant information that may concern any map-content element.
Apart from on-site data collection, processable information may come from other sources as well. These sources include thousands of reports posted by registered users on the Map Editor webpage. Based on the received information¬—in the course of numerous verification procedures—the content and the quality of the map database is continuously improved. Furthermore, several other local data providers, including municipalities and local associations, help to increase the accurateness of the data.
The source data are collected and processed at the central workstations, and the cartographers carry out the necessary modifications. An active cooperation of qualified GIS experts and cartographers is required to make these modifications appear in the databases, in harmony with the intentions of the initiator; as the structure of the database is described by a fairly complicated system of rules, which, caused by the increasing content-related requirements, is continuously changing and expanding.
Once the source data are processed, quality assurance takes place, as being a data provider company, we lay special emphasis on ensuring consistency and accurateness of the stored data. The next map update may never be issued with a drop in the standard; so we devote considerable effort to conduct elaborate tests and examinations.