10 misconceptions about Hivemapper debunked

#1: HONEY listing & trading

>>> Hivemapper Inc. declines to comment on the HONEY token’s value and community moderators delete comments on Discord
We will not engage in any conversation associated with HONEY listing or trading. As a US based company, we will work to protect the integrity and long term value of the project, and firmly sit on the right side of the law.  
We are transparent about the entire project and the Hivemapper Inc. business 
  • Real time metrics of the mapping network are public on the Network Explorer 
  • Bugs we are working on, and the product roadmap that the community is building
  • We consistently share Hivemapper Network updates and product roadmaps
  • We’ve shared how Hivemapper Inc. cash balances are stored
  • We have shared news about contract for the mapping APIs
  • We have shared detailed data about the number of dashcam pre-orders and number of shipments and will continue to do so.
As the project continues to grow, we will continue to be transparent with details that give the community the information they need to assess its performance.

#2: Production & shipping delays of the Hivemapper Dashcam

>>> After launching in early November with over 5,500 preorders,  Hivemapper has shipped 620 units. About 210 are currently online and operating, a figure reflected in the Hivemapper Explorer.
We initially communicated that pre-orders would begin shipping in late August. That was delayed by 2 months to late October.  
We thought the production ramp (number of units built each week) would go faster, and it hasn’t yet hit the kinds of numbers we would want. We continue to focus on this issue, but it will not get solved instantly. The automation we introduced into the assembly process has certainly caused some issues as we have ramped up production, and we are working to address these issues.  

#3: I use Google Maps for free, why would I ever pay for Hivemapper?

Underlying this question is a knowledge gap about the Hivemapper end-customer for the data products. We are not building a consumer navigation app like the Google Maps App that sits on your iPhone or Android device.
What most people don’t realize is that even if you never used the Google Maps App, you are still using it multiple times a day.  When you use Uber, AirBnB, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Ford, and millions of other businesses, you are also using Google Maps that is embedded into these products and services. These businesses pay Google billions per year for access to the Google Maps API. That is the market we are going after. Some customers use Google Maps for navigation, others use it for situation awareness (e.g. real-estate and travel sites), others use it to help first responders, others use it to issue work orders to utility crews. 

#4: Hivemapper Dashcam high pricing

>>> By selling a reported 5,500 preorders across 66 countries, Hivemapper got off to a strong start (and, with the dashcams’ hefty pricing, sizable early revenue as high as $3.5 million). 
Hivemapper’s business model objective is not to profit from hardware sales. We’re in the business of building a decentralized mapping network that collects map data, a valuable resource. Hivemapper’s team and lineage is mapping, we are a mapping company building hardware as a means to an end — a global map.
The Hivemapper Dashcam is a higher-end product like the Blackvue dashcams. Moreover, it's not just a dashcam. It's also a mapping device and crypto miner. Just as you can buy computers or smartphones at many different price points, the same is true for dashcams.  Let’s dig into what is driving the costs associated with the dashcam.
We use high-end components in the dashcam to ensure that we are producing a high quality data product. Here are a few examples of the components we use and how they impact cost:
  • GNSS (GPS) module not only provides strong positional accuracy which is critical for a map, but also encrypts the data to protect the integrity of the map and the privacy of contributors. 
  • The 4K camera itself is a higher-end camera to ensure that image quality we produce is a data product that the very top customers can use.
  • We use a LoRa module in order to use the Helium network for the purposes of verifying location to ensure data integrity which is critical for the commercial viability of mapping data.
As a US manufactured product the dashcams do have higher assembly costs than many devices built across Asia. As this program began during COVID, we wanted to ensure that the manufacturing was done here in the US to reduce the number of risk factors associated with a global supply chain. 
On the Hivemapper Dashcam, our margins are ~35%, and we use this margin to invest in marketing across regions where there are fewer contributors / dashcam pre-orders and where we know we have customer demand; namely in places like Europe and Southeast Asia.   
The hardware reference design, firmware, and APIs for the dashcam will be made open source in 2023, and our intention is to enable hardware partners to build their own dashcam. 

#5: Token allocation

>>> HONEY’s distribution structure, with 60% of the token’s total supply pre-mined and allocated for Hivemapper Inc., employees, investors, and the Hivemapper Foundation.
Our approach to building a global map is far more cost effective than the Google approach. Yet, we are building hardware and deploying that hardware on a global scale.  It’s critical to get that hardware and software experience right such that the contributor experience is delightful and passive.  As a hardware plus software project, it has different capital needs than a pure software project. So, we made the decision to allocate 20% to investors to raise $18M a year ago and retain 15% of the HONEY tokens for Hivemapper Inc., enabling it to raise capital for the business in the future.  
Consider the following thought experiment.  If we had allocated far more to contributors, say 70%, but had limited ability to raise capital to fund exceptional hardware and software products, would the project reach scale? Very unlikely. If the project doesn’t reach scale, then that’s obviously not good for anybody involved in the project. As a contributor, I would much rather have a smaller part of something big (and maps are a big market) than a larger piece of something that goes to zero.
Often lost in this conversation is the fact that investor and employee tokens are restricted, as they should be.
Ultimately, the key here is radical transparency. We don’t expect everybody to reach the same conclusions we did but from the moment we announced the Hivemapper Network we publicly shared all token allocations information and token restrictions.

#6: Additional expenses: Car, fuel, etc.

Should I buy a car to map with Hivemapper?
Strong no.
Should I quit my job to map with Hivemapper?
Strong no.
Should I make special trips to map with Hivemapper?
Strong no.
There are plenty of vehicles (1.4 billion to be exact) on the road and we need a relatively small fraction of those to build a global map. We don’t need or want people to add new cars or special trips to the road. Anybody suggesting otherwise is deeply misinformed.  
If you drive, just bring the Hivemapper Dashcam along for the ride and help grow a fresher and better map of the world. 
One more thing, when considering the costs of mapping with Hivemapper, we’ve designed the Hivemapper Dashcam and the ‘S’ model to be dual use devices.  Our objective here is to create more utility for the dashcam well beyond mapping, as many consumers already purchase dashcams’ for security and insurance liability purposes.

#7: Image quality can vary

Reality is messy.  When collecting imagery via a vehicle in the physical world you are going to have to deal with dirty windshield/lens, obstructed views (trucks and buses mostly), weather, poor mounts, poor lighting and many other issues.  Whether it be Hivemapper or Google StreetView there is no such thing as a perfect street level imagery collection.
Every camera mount has its own pros/cons. An exterior mounted camera will not have windshield issues but on the other hand an exterior camera lens will get dirty or in certain parts of the world get stolen. There is no single perfect camera mount. Whether you mount the camera in the exterior or interior, you are going to have obstructed views because a bus or truck is getting in the way. 
There is no way anybody is going to orchestrate the perfect collection, therefore there will always be some issues that will appear in the imagery.
The best approach to solving this is to dramatically increase shots on goal. If you only see a location once every two years, then whatever issues encountered in the collection will live inside your data product for the next two years.
However, if you see a given location every month, then you have lots of shots on goal to collect a great image. Below Google StreetView had an obstruction when collecting at this location. The Hivemapper Network happened to have good lighting and no obstructions that day and produced a better data product.
Even if Hivemapper encountered bad lighting that day (which will certainly happen), that's okay as usually we should see that location again in the near future and have another shot on goal to collect a better image.
The more "shots on goal" approach only works if your data collection pipeline is incredibly cost effective which brings us to this critical point.

#8: Why not just pay contributors cash?

The Hivemapper team previously built a cash system, and our CEO built a data collection network based on cash in a prior company.
First, the early contributors in a cash based system get shafted. Let’s assume for a moment that a heavy map contributor in the early days earns $2,000/yr. If the project is successful and the map is worth billions, that person is going to feel burned. Said differently, the early Uber drivers are still driving for Uber, while the early Uber employees are retired and living in Hawaii. In a crypto network, the economic incentives of contributors, employees, and investors are well aligned. If the map reaches scale and generates utility and value for businesses, it will have real economic impact and value.
Other approaches like Waze offer virtual rewards with no economic value.  Most don’t realize that in addition to using data from our smartphones while driving, Waze has 30,000 map editors who spend many hours per week tediously editing the Waze map from their computers — for free. When Google acquired Waze for $1.2B, these map editors got a free t-shirt. Without these people, there is no Waze. Let’s not pretend that this is OK.
Second, in a cash based system people don’t build ownership and pride in what they are building. Homeowners (ownership mindset) behave differently than renters (transaction mindset). A homeowner will dedicate time and energy towards improving their home, neighborhood, and local schools. Contributors in a crypto powered network like Hivemapper, are passionate about building better tools to improve the data quality for customers. For example, to encourage and enable more exterior mounted Hivemapper Dashcams a group of contributors worked together in the Hivemapper Discord Server to design an optimal exterior mount setup. 
Third, the blockchain brings transparency and globally available payment systems.  In a cash based system, most everything is opaque and never truly yours as the contributor.  Paying contributors in cash who reside in Nigeria and many other countries is complex, expensive, and prone to delays; whereas rewarding contributors in HONEY on a global scale is fast, cost effective, and simple.  In a cash based system there are means to clawback payments which is obviously unsettling to contributors.  Whereas, when a  HONEY reward is made it’s immutable and cannot be reversed.  Finally, transparency is critical to building trust and a blockchain has built in transparency, here are all the HONEY transactions and rewards going through the mapping network.

#9: I only need to map a city once, and then it’s done

We often hear some version of “by the time I get my dashcam my city will be mapped and there will be nothing left to do.”
If only mapping were so easy.  The world’s 510M sq km is home to 7 billion people, with over 60 million road km that 1.4 billion vehicles use. It’s a big place that is constantly changing.
Consider your own neighborhood, where businesses change, new traffic signs are introduced, traffic patterns change due to construction and weather, new homes and apartment building are built, and new parking restrictions are introduced.  Now, expand these changes that you see from your city to thousands of cities across your country, and then expand that further to 220 countries.  
Depending on where you live maps can become out of date within hours.  Fresher maps are always better maps, and so the human species will never be done mapping earth for as long as we exist.

#10: I am too late

Many people are concerned that it’s too late for them to benefit from being an early adopter if they didn’t pre-order a Hivemapper Dashcam in April. Over 6,000 dashcam are in the queue on the basis of “first to order, first to ship.” However, the world is a big place and this is a small fraction of the dashcams needed to sustain a global decentralized mapping network that is constantly refreshing. We expect that we will need somewhere between 600,000 to 1M dashcams to map and continuously refresh a global map of the world. If you order a Hivemapper Dashcam today, you’re still joining the Hivemapper Network in its early days.

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