Judson Green (JG): Navigation Technologies has been a leader of high quality, innovative map data products since 1985. While the industry segments we serve are distinct in their needs and demographics, all of our customers demand the highest level of quality and accuracy. I believe the unprecedented accuracy and thoroughness of our routing attributes are the keys to our success. (JF): Navtech is known for driving the streets in order to capture the most accurate street network possible. There must be a substantial ROI to justify this kind of overhead. Can you comment? (JG): The level of accuracy and quality I just mentioned is the direct result of the fact that we literally drive the roads to collect our data. The investment in our database has been significant, over $600 million to date. If there were another way to acquire this data, believe me, we would. But our experience has been that publicly available data is simply not sufficient to provide reliable routing solutions. (JF): During the past year, there seems to have been a 'war' going on in the street centerline business for both mapping and navigation. What is Navtech's strategy to keep grow market share? (JG): From our proprietary data collection methodologies to our current ISO-9001 certification program, we are passionate about producing the highest quality digital road network and points of interest possible. This strategy has propelled our leadership position in in-vehicle navigation, internet mapping and PDA navigation solutions, and is beginning to produce large wins in the fleet, enterprise and GIS markets. Meanwhile, we have invested in technological innovations to differentiate us further with our customers, such innovations as our North American traffic initiative, and the addition of voice phonemes to our map databases. I think our customers value the impact our quality data has on their customers' satisfaction and productivity, and I think they appreciate that we aggressively reinvest in new technology that addresses their future needs. (JF): The wireless location-based services market has been an enormous disappointment. What do you see in the marketplace, both North America and Europe, that would lead you to believe that this market still has life? (JG): I believe the growth of this area is a function of timing. What we're seeing is a rise in the number of GPS chips embedded in devices worldwide. In North America, projections are that more than 50% of handsets will include embedded chips by 2006, driven in part by the E-911 mandate. This will create a baseline and critical mass of location-ready devices. Wireless carriers and device manufacturers will be in a position to leverage a location as an incremental revenue source. And in Europe, the increased penetration of data enabled smartphones signals customer readiness for mobile wireless services. (JF): Do you see the in-vehicle market growing, and as a possible consequence, catapulting the wireless handheld market as well? (JG): On-line mapping services as well as in-vehicle navigation serve as an introduction or educational starting point for consumers about turn-by-turn navigation and location-based point of interest inquiries. Both types of services have an impact on consumer awareness, comfort and adoption of navigation via wireless devices. (JF): The GIS market has not been Navtech's strength. Is it difficult to get customers to pay for the level of quality that Navtech products exhibit? (JG): I don't think it's about price, it's about value. If the particular aspects that define the quality in our database are of value to a customer's application, we've seen that the customer will pay for that quality. For GIS users who have any level of routing application, NAVTECH is an easy choice. For those who do not need routing, they find that our depth of coverage, geocoding accuracy, and most importantly, the accuracy of street centerlines is of high value. The rapid growth of cellular phones has both aided and exacerbated the E911 problem. Since far more people are now carrying cell phones, a much larger percentage of E911 calls are coming from mobile callers (for example, currently in the U.S. there are over 100,000 E911 calls per day originating from mobile phones). This has no doubt shortened the notification time significantly, but it means that the E911 dispatch cannot rely on the Automatic Location Identification (ALI) system to provide an accurate indicator of the caller's location. This has been well recognized as a liability and has led to FCC regulations and the current push to develop and deploy effective and cost-efficient methods of determining the location of mobile devices. All of this is well-covered ground. The issue of relevance here is the data side of this equation. Determining the caller's coordinates is only the first step. Other location issues include: Source.