With Major Redesign, Google Heats Up Online Map Wars
"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."
“'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.'”