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Real-Time Mapping: A glossary of top 100+ terms and acronyms (Pt. 2)

Real-Time Mapping: A glossary of  top 100+ terms and acronyms (Pt. 2)

This glossary offers over 100 definitions for common terms in the context of real-time mapping. As a guiding principle, we opted to include generally accepted definitions as well as to explain (whenever appropriate) how  each entry applies to the key concepts in real-time mapping.
Part one can be found here


First Notice of Loss — the initial report made to the insurer in the event of theft, loss or damage of an insured vehicle.

Frame —a still image typically extracted from a video file.

Frame-on-demand (FoD) —a service by which users can obtain a frame taken at a given time and location.

Freshness — a dimension of data quality that reflects how up-to-date the data is.


Geography —a region or area of interest.

Global Positioning System (GPS) — a network of satellites and receiving devices used to determine the location of an object on Earth.

Graphical User Interface — a visual way of interacting with a computer using items such as windows, icons, and menus.

Ground Truth — the facts that are found when a location shown on a map, air photograph, or satellite image is checked on the ground, as validation.


High definition maps — a highly accurate map used in autonomous driving, containing three-dimensional details not normally present on typical maps.


Inertial measurement unit (IMU) — an electronic device that measures and reports an object’s specific force, angular rate, and sometimes the orientation of the object, using a combination of accelerometers, gyroscopes, and sometimes magnetometers.

Inference — the process of drawing a conclusion from a subset or sample of data.

Intelligent speed assistance (ISA) — a system that ensures that vehicle speed does not exceed a safe or legally enforced speed.

Intersection movement assist (IMA) — a collision warning application that warns the driver of a vehicle when it is not safe to enter an intersection due to high collision probability with other vehicles at stop sign controlled and uncontrolled intersections.

Just-in-time data fetching —the retrieval of data by a software program at the moment when it is needed.


Lane semantics — analysis of the part of a roadway that is designated to be used by a single line of vehicles to control and guide drivers and reduce traffic conflicts

Levels of automated driving — industry-standard scale from zero to five developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to describe the continuum from no driving automation to fully automated driving, specifically:

Level 0 (No Driving Automation)

Level 1 (Driver Assistance)

Level 2 (Partial Driving Automation)

Level 3 (Conditional Driving Automation)

Level 4 (High Driving Automation)

Level 5 (Full Driving Automation)

Location based services — services that are based on the location of a mobile user or device as determined by the device's geographical location.


Maneuver semantics — analysis of the  movement or series of moves performed by a driver in a vehicle.

Map change — the process by which the information on a map is updated.

Map matching — a process or algorithm that adjusts recorded geographic coordinates to a logical model of the real world, for example a road lane on a map.

Map — a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.

Mapping — the process of collecting road information for a map.

Mapping industry — the collection of companies and organizations that collect road information and build maps.

Mean-time between visits (MTBV) — an analytical tool developed by Nexar to determine the freshness of data obtained in a specific location.

Mobility – the ability to move people and/or goods between different locations.

Mobility Ecosystem — a complex network of entities and systems that offer and/or support mobility services.

Mobility-as-a-Service —a service that matches users and mobility providers so as to enable users to plan, book, and pay for multiple types of mobility services.

Mobility service — a service that moves people and/or goods between different locations.


Navigation — the process or activity of accurately ascertaining one's position and planning and following a route: Columbus corrected his westward course by celestial navigation.

Nexagons — network-hexagons defined in an IETF standard which divide a geographical area into virtual tiles with an address for crowdsourcing of mapping data.

Nexar network — a collection of vehicle cameras that capture and share detections of objects of interest on roads thereby serving as “eyes on the road”.


Object of interest a material element of the road that is relevant for the user, as traffic signs, parking spots,  or work zones.

Open Street Map (OSM) — a collaborative project to create a free editable geographic database of the world.


Parking — the location where a vehicle is brought to a halt and left temporarily, typically in a car park or by the side of the road.

Platform — a system or collection of systems that enables the acquisition, storage, preparation, delivery, and governance of data, and makes it available securely for users and applications.

Precision —the quality metric that establishes the relevance of road detections, for example the number of detected objects (which match the user needs) divided by the total number of detections obtained from the query.


Real time —the characteristic that enables a system to capture and process data related to an event within milliseconds of the instant in which the event occurs.

Real-Time Mapping —a service that captures, processes and delivers road information in real time for use in software applications.

Real-Time Mapping platform — a platform that captures, processes and delivers map information in real time via APIs.

Real-time traffic information — data about the state of road congestion that is captured, processed and delivered in real time.

Recall — the fraction of the relevant data that is successfully retrieved, for example in information retrieval the recall can be obtained by dividing the number of correct results  by the number of results that should have been returned.

Relevance — the quality that denotes how well the retrieved information fits the needs of the user.

Road — a long, narrow stretch with a smoothed or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle between two or more points; street or highway.

Road furniture — all fixtures on the road and within the road reserve that are intended to provide information or safety to a road user and includes traffic lights, sign posts, traffic signs, guardrails, marker posts, fences, reflectors, etc.

Road information —relevant data that is detected from road images.

Road inventory — a complete list with the functional classification of roads, total mileage, owner and the assets assigned to roadway sections.

Road object — an asset whose location is on a road.

Road segments — the specific representation of a portion of a road with uniform characteristics that are different from an adjacent segment.

Road signs — signs erected at the side of or above roads to give instructions or provide information to road users.


Semi-dynamic data — road information that is collected within minutes, such as accidents, congestion, parking, hazards, etc.

Semi-static data — road information that is collected on an hourly basis, such as traffic signs, weather, etc.

Shared mobility — transportation services and resources that are shared among users, either concurrently or one after another.

Shoulder — strip of pavement outside an outer lane to protect the pavement edges from traffic damage.

Shoulder lane — an emergency stopping lane by the verge of a road or motorway.

Situational awareness — the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status.

Stale map data — road information that is outdated.

Static data — road information that is  collected monthly, such as lanes, road geometry, etc.

Standard definition maps — a two-dimensional representation of links and nodes that are used to compute routes for human drivers, sometimes layered with curvature and slope of the road, points of interest, etc.

Software Development Kit — a collection of software development tools in one installable package to facilitate the development of applications.


Traffic maps —maps that include real-time traffic information.

Traffic signs — see road signs.


Unit cost — total expenditure incurred by a company to produce, store, and sell one unit of a particular product or service, for example road information for one mile.

Update — a change or list of changes to an existing map.

User Interface (UI) — the point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device or software application.


Vehicle camera — a video sensor integrated into the hardware of a vehicle and used to continuously record the view of the road, traffic, etc. and/or interior of the vehicle.  

Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) — non-motorised road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists as well as motor-cyclists and persons with disabilities or reduced mobility and orientation.


Work zones — an area of a trafficway with highway construction, maintenance, or utility-work activities.

Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) — specification that enables infrastructure owners and operators to make harmonized work zone data available for third party use.


[1] Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary [link]
[2] Oxford Dictionary of English [link]
[3] National Geographic Glossary [link]
[4] Wikipedia [link]
[5] Law Insider Dictionary [link]