Hey Europe: You Want Google Navigation But Can’t Have It


google-maps-navigationI’m sure Google would LOVE to allow Europeans, Asians, Africans, South Americans, Australians, Canadians and even Antarcticans to enjoy the wonders of Google Navigation on their Android Phone. Unfortunately, licensing restrictions have prevented Google from offering their service anywhere except the United States. Bummer… right?

Not so fast! Clever hackers got Google Nav working in Europe and all rejoiced. Not so fast again! Google has just countered by somehow shutting down navigation outside the US. Now the folks at XDA are working on a counter for the counter.

So let me see here… all of these people are desperately trying to get Google Navigation on their mobile device because it has all the wonderful benefits of Turn-By-Turn Navigation with the added capabilities of a mobile phone. Thank you for stating the obvious, Berg Insight (from CrunchGear):

Analyst firm, Berg Insight, thinks that eighty-eight percent of all GPS units shipped in 2015 will have cellular connectivity. This seems like a blindingly obvious prediction to me… [continued]…Of course, in 2015 no one will remember this report, so it really doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong. I predict that they are wrong. I think the industry is going to move much faster than this analyst has predicted, due to technology like Google’s new navigation on the Android phone.

I’m sure Google blocked this capability for their own legal protection, but I’m sure they’re simultaneously working their butts off to ensure they can offer Navigation worldwide. Until then, I guess the Garmin’s and TomToms of the world have a bit larger window of opportunity to catch up.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. next stop seise and desist letters. i know it great they’ve cracked the google nav code. didn’t cyanogen trythis once and got slapped with a letter for providing the new market before it was availible. google can get just as sued by any goverment for what they did not saying it’s going to happen.but if your going to look for money who would you go to. the broke geek or the multi billion dollar web giant. i know who i’d hit up for the cash.

  2. I suppose you could just blame Google for being mean, greedy, or whatever suits your age & temperament.
    Or, you might ask TomTom is they would mind if Google distributes their (Tele Atlas) overseas maps data counter to the licensing-terms.
    Given that TomTom paid €2.9 billion for Tele Atlas, back in 2007, my guess is yes…they’d mind.

  3. I would indeed kill for Google Navigation on my Milestone. Waaaaaant.

  4. Who is stopping it Google? Who is the licensing entity?

  5. Good question. What’s the big deal with that license? What’s so special in it that our huge G can’t force?

  6. Google may not even have been involved in this change. If the nav data is actually being hosted on servers run by TomTom they they could have simply disabled access to non-US maps. When I tested it after the announcement, the Navigation menu item was still there, it just complained that it couldn’t find a suitable route for my journey suggesting it’s actually the local navigation data that’s been blocked/erased rather than anything else.

  7. For the people asking about licensing, the reason Google can do turn-by-turn on GMaps in the US is because they are using their own map data.

    Up until about two weeks before they were using the same TeleAtlas data they license around the world, this license forbids them for offering turn-by-turn directions along with the maps.

    In the US, Google built their own map data using public domain government photos, the satallite data they have more liberal licenses to, and their own data generated from streetview.

    So, basically Europe has to wait for Google to do the same thing before they can get turn-by-turn. Because they haven’t invested nearly as much in streetview, and there is less access to public domain data, I think this will be a while for a lot of Europe.

    But due to the relative geographic smallness/big market share of the UK, I’d bet they get it first outside the US, some time late 2010 at a guess.

  8. And they`re seriously wondering, why is Android in Europe less popular than in US?

  9. @Furret agree with you. Google’s efforts to promote Android in Europe are pitiful. All the talk of how great turn-by-turn is, and we see demos of Motorola Droids in the US running the software… Not surprisingly, anyone in Europe with an interest in Android is going to expect the same. BIG let-down if Google doesn’t deliver this in Europe.

  10. Google need to create a open source user-generated map database.
    They could find some skilled map creators out there who are willing to work for free.
    Each would cover their own city/suburb.

    Even I would be willing to enter map data.

  11. Well for a few bucks there is copilot 8 wich is a Very Good Navigation vor android….

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