It is estimated that 10–15% of the road network changes every year. There is also inevitably some human error/subjectivity in the creation of a digital map. All of which means that maps must be constantly maintained to keep the level of map errors as low as possible. Tele Atlas has extensive survey teams constantly surveying new roads, changed roads, POI positioning and accuracy, map errors, etc. Each change and fix is then checked before being built into the next map release. TomTom predominantly uses Tele Atlas maps, then compiles the map vendor release (i.e. compresses it into a TomTom proprietary and specific format) and has it error-checked by TomTom’s own Quality Assurance team. This complex and labor-intensive process can mean it is several months before a map vendor’s new release is ready and fit for use in a TomTom product.
TomTom publishes four new map releases for customers per year, and by only using the latest available map releases from map vendors, TomTom ensures its customers always have the most recent map release in their newly purchased product. And all TomTom products are updatable. That is, the maps can be replaced with later map releases or added to with additional map regions.
Due to the high frequency of new map releases, there is a small chance that a new map is released between the production of a TomTom and the date that it is sold in retail. TomTom's recent products therefore come with a Latest Map Guarantee to allow users to check whether there is a more recent map release available. If a more recent map is available within 30 days of using the device, the user can download it at no charge via TomTom HOME.
TomTom has also introduced the unique and patented TomTom Map Share™ technology. Map Share™ revolutionizes electronic mapping by allowing users to instantly make corrections to the maps on their devices. These corrections take effect immediately. Corrections can also be shared with the entire TomTom community through TomTom HOME, making it possible to benefit from the local road knowledge of millions of other drivers.