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Type Subsidiary of Nokia
Founded 1985 (Karlin & Collins, Inc.)

1987 (Navigation Technologies Corporation)

2004 (NAVTEQ)
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois
Key people Judson C Green - CEO
Industry GPS data and services, Navigation software
Revenue $853 Million (at 2007-12-31 prior to takeover)
Net income $172 Million (at 2007-12-31 prior to takeover)
Total assets $1.3 Billion (at 2007-12-31 prior to takeover)
Total equity $1.0 Billion (at 2007-12-31 prior to takeover)
Employees 4,000 (2009)[1]
Parent Nokia

Coordinates: 41°53′3.9″N 87°38′21.1″W / 41.884417°N 87.639194°W / 41.884417; -87.639194

NAVTEQ is a Chicago, Illinois-based provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data and is a dominant company in providing the base electronic navigable maps. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia but operates independently.


NAVTEQ's underlying map database is based on first hand observation of geographic features rather than relying on official government maps.

It provides data used in a wide range of applications, including automotive navigation systems for BMW, Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Mini and many other car makers (accounting for around 85% of market share).

Portable GPS devices made by Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance and web-based applications, such as Yahoo! Maps, Local Live, and MapQuest also use its maps.[2] Microsoft's Flight Simulator X uses NAVTEQ data for automatic terrain generation.

NAVTEQ is also the data aggregator used by XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio to display traffic data on navigation systems that are capable of that display, and partners with various third party agencies and companies to provide government and transportation related services, such as the GPS and GSM-based sex offender tracking system currently in use in parts of North Carolina and Georgia.

NAVTEQ also has smaller offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Boston, and San Diego, and throughout most big cities around the world, where NAVTEQ cartographers live.

Its main competitor is the Dutch company Tele Atlas.


Karlin & Collins, Inc.

The company was founded in 1985 by Barry Karlin and Galen Collins. Karlin, who was originally from South Africa told interviewers that he started the company after being frustrated with a paper map of the San Francisco, California area and started investigating whether there could be a technological "someone sitting next to me in the car who knew the way."[3]

Collins then created a pilot of a system in the San Francisco area. However when they discovered they were told to do something impossible they realized that the system not only had to have accurate maps but also very specific data on one-way streets and other local issues.[3]

They were turned down by most venture capital firms in their attempts to finance the database. The president of Budget Rent A Car then suggested they talk to T. Russell Shields, a Chicago entrepreneur who had founded Shields Enterprises which became SEI Information Technology which had specialized in building order fulfilment databases. Shields provided $500,000 in seed money.[3]

In 1985 Karlin & Collins, Inc. based in Sunnyvale, California began comprehensive mapping of the San Francisco area getting another $2.5 million from Prudential Bache. Karlin and Collins made use of the newly created U.S. Census electronic map which was matched with satellite images. They hired people to drive every road carrying a Dictaphone describing the position. In lieu of using a GPS, they kept track of the location of the vehicle by using a dead reckoning system that relied on a gyro compass.[3]

It took two years before they unveiled their first product, DriverGuide, which was a computer kiosk that could be used at car rental location and hotel lobbies to provide printed directions. 80 machines costing $12,000 were placed around San Francisco and drivers paid 50 cents for the directions.

With the success of the kiosks in 1987, Shields invested another $3 million on condition he be named chief operating officer. The company was renamed Navigation Technologies Corporation.

A competitive environment was quickly arising with Etak being the most notable. Etak's offering showed your location on the map but did not offer directions.

Navigation Technologies Corporation (NavTech)

In the 1990s the company changed its business model so that instead of building kiosks itself, it licensed its maps to be used by other hardware makers.

Philips Electronics acquired the company in the early 1990s and invested nearly $600 Million in building the database for a car-based mapping device that was ultimately scrapped. Both Karlin and Collins left in the takeover but Shields remained, becoming CEO and moving its headquarters to Chicago in 1996.

It established its first European office, named European Geographic Technologies (EGT), in 1991, and offices in Yokohama, Japan in 1996.


Philips on several occasions tried to take the company public but backed off each time until finally going public in February 2004 being listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "NVT."

It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois (USA) with more than 4,000 employees worldwide. With a regional European headquarters located in Veldhoven, Netherlands, a major production facility in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, and support centers in Seoul, South Korea, Mexico City, Mexico and in Yokohama, Japan, NAVTEQ is located in 144 offices in 60 countries.

In early 2007, NAVTEQ acquired The Map Network, the largest supplier of mapping to local US tourism and convention agencies. Later that year, NAVTEQ moved their headquarters from Chicago's Merchandise Mart complex to the Boeing Building in Chicago.

Nokia subsidiary

On October 1, 2007, it was announced that Nokia would acquire NAVTEQ in a deal valued at an estimated $8.1 billion (€5.7 billion). NAVTEQ shareholders approved the deal in December 2007. The European Commission in July 2008 ruled the deal did not violate anti-trust rules clearing the way for closing the deal. [4][5]

NAVTEQ's principal rival Tele Atlas was acquired by TomTom in 2008.

See also


External links