TomTom Anchors Localeze Data

Jeff Beard

Navigation technology company TomTom has inked a deal with Localeze to access the company's database of 14 million U.S. local businesses, making the list accessible to consumers who want to search points of interest (POIs) by category and more. The content also becomes available for location and navigation application developers and device manufacturers, leveraging TomTom digital maps and content.

The companies will announce the agreement, which takes effect in 2011, on Tuesday. The listings will become available for location-based applications and personal and in-car navigation systems powered by TomTom digital maps and content to improve the navigation experience. Localeze provides 14 million local search business listings, including nearly 600,000 that are verified and managed by local businesses to more than 100 local search platform and application partners. TomTom's Tele-Atlas provides the content management.

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The potential for location-based services through social and mobile devices will continue to expand as companies use Localeze to anchor business information to support a consistent identity. These companies will deliver services in search, coupons and discounts, and mapping and pay-per-call, according to Jeff Beard, president at Localeze.

"You're starting to see more creative services and far more companies willing to leverage advertising transactions across platforms," he says. "Companies want to work with each other, rather than build a wall to protect their assets."

The social graph has begun to take shape and materialize in deals similar to the one between TomTom and Localeze. Companies have begun to accept that the platform -- no longer important -- can provide consumers with so many more benefits when the service is distributed through, rather than on it.

TomTom is one in several agreements that Localeze has signed recently. Using location-based technology to Twitter, users can geo-tag tweets and attach them to a physical location by pinging the Localeze database. Buzz floating through the blogosphere speculates on a relationship between Localeze and Facebook, but Beard would not confirm or deny reports.

Search and social have developed into close buddies. Traditional search services have begun to break down as mobile becomes more opportunistic for both consumers and advertisers based on geo-location, and competition heats up among mobile handset makers and application developers. Consumers -- now willing to download mobile apps and navigation tools -- fuel the transition, too, as a variety of car manufacturers enable navigation systems on handsets running the Android operating system.

Google's "Send-To-Car" feature allows consumers to transmit destinations from Google Maps directly to select vehicles from Ford and General Motors through OnStar eNav, a feature previously only available on BMW and Audi vehicles. Consumers find the location on Google Maps from a PC or mobile phone and send the destination to the car.

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