The Giants’ Race to Map the World

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Gone are the days of having hereditary knowledge of surrounding areas or having to persuade a confused passenger to trace their finger along an over-sized map in order to get anywhere. Gone were these days in 2005 when Google introduced Google Maps (or to give it it’s former name, Google Local). Now what stands, seven years on, is a developed version of yesteryear’s primitive offering, and it is surrounded with competition from the intimidating likes of Apple and Microsoft.

Throughout its existence, Google has built a reputation as an organization that is very much ‘alive’, keeping tech-news sites ripe with tales of innovation as it implements game changing alterations that keep such fields as the SEO industry on its feet at all times. With attempts at social networking and creating its own web browser in the long list of ventures the Google name has been put through, one of the most successful undertakings was Google Maps. Year after year it expands and develops with such features as the ‘Hybrid view’ and the widely popular ‘Street View’, introduced in May 2007 and has led to the software enjoying a long reign as the ultimate web mapping application, facing little competition.

2012 has so far seen Google’s endeavor into bringing a third dimension to the maps by employing a fleet of planes to photograph cities across the world. While an ambitious and characteristically controversial plan on Google’s part, it has been caught up in rivalry from former allies, Apple.

The most recent movement in a distressing relationship between the two giants, Apple have recently hinted at dropping Google Maps from future devices in favor of their own version of the application.

Alongside this, Microsoft has been steadily contributing to the map rivalry a long time. As well as the ongoing rivalry between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Google’s browser, Chrome, the Microsoft map offers much the same service as its Google counterpart, complete with street view. The Microsoft map has undergone many changes over the years, but now offers more serious competition as it is branded under their Google opposing alter-ego, Bing which is also running as a realistic alternative to Google as a search engine in the future. But the rivalry between the giant corporations, made of electronics companies and search engine industry leaders (as they recognize internet mapping as a worthy interest) is nothing more than healthy competition that ultimately progresses towards a better user experience.