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A Look Back At 2010 And A look Forward To 2011

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 30 Dec 2010

pocketgpsworld.comWith the New Year almost upon us, now is an opportune moment to say a huge thank you to all of our readers and subscribers for your custom over the past year and to our verifiers and moderators for their invaluable assistance over the past twelve months.

2010 was our 8th year in existence and, thanks to our foray into the world of software development, our busiest.

To have a successful smartphone app is wonderful but there is a huge amount of work required to author each one. And, gluttons for punishment that we are, CamerAlert for Android has now progressed to the first closed public beta test bringing with it a whole new platform to get to grips with.

2010 has not been the best of years for industry. The entire GPS market has all but ground to a halt, not just because of the economy but also as a result of the impact of so-called 'free' navigation apps. But this situation must only temporary, manufacturers survive through innovation and an endless stream of new hardware. Smartphone navigation is not by any means, the answer for all and there is still a huge market of new and old PND users waiting to be tapped.

Connected navigation looks likely to become more prevalent. The only issues holding back increased usage is the networks themselves and I predict we will see many more vehicle manufacturers partnering with the big names in navigation to offer in-car solutions in the way that Renault have. With on-board connectivity they should be able to update themselves, negating the problems of having a device that is built-into the dashboard.

Speed cameras are here to stay. Despite the news of camera partnerships closing down or mothballing their fixed camera networks. Mobile camera usage is increasing, other financing options are being considered and, despite all that is claimed, speed cameras bring money in. Removing them will mean less money for central government.

Perhaps we will see sponsored speed cameras as have appeared in other countries, or worse still, cameras operated and administered by private companies. These already exist in the US, Australia and Ireland. Some suggest we would never allow that, but then it wasn't so long ago that private parking enforcement started to appear and now it seems just about anyone can pay DVLA for your details.

On a brighter note, with ever more powerful processors appearing, and storage costs continuing to fall, we may well see improvements in the quality and detail of the maps we use. The biggest problem in this area seems to be that no-one is quite sure what improvements are actually beneficial instead of simply adding clutter and detracting from their ease of use.

Is 3D mapping helpful? Do we need terrain mapping and hills/valleys etc? What would you like to see in a navigation system that has not already been offered. And what would your essential or ideal feature set comprise of?
Posted by MaFt on Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:55 am Reply with quote

Well, by the end of February there will be 26 new Truvelos around Bradford. About 8 of these are already in place. So some SCP's are still having fun with fixed cameras at least!

With regards to new features, I'm quite looking forward to NAVTEQ's 'real directions' (turn left at the pub, after the supermarket turn right etc) as this would be a useful feature especially when street signs are inconsistent (some high up on buildings, some on mtgs pavements, some hidden, some just non-existent!)

Terrain view I like and is quite useful. 3D buildings like those in Cardiff on google navigation (new phone with decent hardware required!) look quite good but without seeing them in real use it's hard to judge. 3D landmarks are, in my opinion, a bit pointless. They look pretty but they're just not all that useful! You see them on the map supposedly as a marker for navigation but then there are a tonne of other building in your way so you hardly ever actually see the supposed marker anyway!


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