Occasionally—just occasionally—I gloat. Shortly after writing the original Wired article on crowdsourcing, I predicted that the GPS navigation systems like those produced by TomTom and Garmin would eventually put their own customers to work improving their maps. This bit of prognostication didn't make it into my book, but I was happy to discover a TomTom executive attending a workshop on crowdsourcing I gave in Rotterdam a few months ago. Earlier this year the company launched a feature it calls MapShare, in which the TomTom user community collectively acts to provide updates and fixes to the map.
Today, a trademag covering the "sat-nav" industry ( a lovely British locution, that) notes that users have now made 5 million corrections. “To put this five million milestone in perspective: a one-hour trip made anywhere in Europe or North America will be influenced by twenty to thirty Map Share corrections,” said Corinne Vigreux, managing director TomTom.
Below, a graph charting growth of the MapShare community vis a vis growth of TomTom's user base generally: