Can the automotive industry rescue Google Maps?
Google isn’t saying much about how it’s going to rescue its mapping product from the expected upset of losing the Apple deal. We’re going to learn exactly what it’s doing tomorrow at a press event that I’ll be live-blogging. (Join us Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. PT.)
All Google has said so far is:
Brian McClendon, VP of GoogleMaps and Google Earth, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at GoogleMaps and share our vision. We’ll also demo some of the newest technology and provide a sneak peek at upcoming features that will help people get where they want to go — both physically and virtually. We hope to see you there.
Judging from the invitation, I expect the thrust of the announcement to be a new, all-3D version of Google Maps that makes it more seamless to move from Google Earth’s views, to the currently-flat (except for buildings) Maps, to Street View. But I am hoping for more.
Now, If Google does nothing more than improve Maps on the Web and on Android devices, it can still make a big difference. On Android, Google still offers features Apple does not, like real-time, traffic-aware navigation, and a map view that’s zoomable down to the street view level. Apple is likely to add competitive services, but Google’s got a big head start.
Google has also rolled out maps of the insides of buildings. (That, by the way, is a nice potential revenue stream for the advertising team.)
Google can do more to make up for losing Apple’siPhone users. And keep in mind, it’s not just losing end users, its losing data that they provide: the real-time location and speed information that makes traffic data work. Read More