With Major Redesign, Google Heats Up Online Map Wars

In recent months, new players like Apple and MapBox have taken aim at the increasingly important arena of digital mapping. With the boldest redesign of Google Maps in 8 years launched this week, "the leader in online mapping" isn't standing pat.
May 16, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"In the tech industry, maps have become essential, primarily because of the explosion of mobile devices, on which maps are a critical application," explains Claire Cain Miller. "Maps are also seen as the gateway to commerce, both online and in the real world."

Thus, the launch this week of a redesigned Google Maps at the company's annual I/O developers conference is a move to head off increasing competition from tech companies large and small

“'The future of search starts with maps. That’s where all the commerce is going to be done and that’s what everyone’s fighting out,' said John Malloy, a partner at BlueRun Ventures, which invested in Waze, a crowdsourced mapping service that Facebook has shown interest in acquiring. 'To monetize mobile traffic, maps are a critical ingredient.'”

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Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in The New York Times
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