the basemap data you get via the API is only from TeleAtlas, but if you look at the maps through Google’s branded gateway, they are enhanced with NavTech data too. As rich pointed out, there’s a long discussion about this on the Google Maps API Google Group, or Usenet group as it was once known.
We heard a little bit about this a couple weeks ago. I’ve been saying since day one that the problem with a free API for web mapping is that you need to either reduce your costs as low as possible or have another revenue stream (advertisements). One of the biggest arguments for a paid service like ArcWeb is that you get a great choice of data. We’ve already seen that the satellite imagery in ArcWeb is much better than Google Maps and that I don’t think people mind paying for a service if the quality is better.
Conspiracy theories fly! Do people really care enough about very high quality base maps to pay for a premium API service? Or are geodata licensing costs driving this decision on the part of GMaps? If quality of service continues to deteriorate, will this provide a boon to collaborative mapping in the land of the free geodata, augmenting the accuracy and currency that Google’s maps may be losing?
So there is an opportunity for ArcWeb 2005. The question is how soon will it be to we here/see it (with a name like ArcWeb 2005, you’d think we’d see it soon). I’ll tell you this, as soon as the new ArcWeb 200X is out, I’m going to replace my blog map with it.