Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Google Maps

Lots of buzz this morning about Google Maps.

At first glance, I'm pretty impressed. Google has yet again blown the competition out of the water with its amazing user interface.

So.. a couple thoughts come to mind:

1. Is Google going to publish a web service API similar to MapPoint? It's a challenge to build a successful business model out of a web service offering, especially considering Google's revenue is deep-rooted in advertising, not subscription services. Still, it could certainly pose competition to Microsoft, which for us users, is always a good thing (fuels innovation, drives down prices, etc). If it was free, this could power a new generation of open source location-aware software and location-based services.

2. Is Google going to leverage location information entered into Google Maps by providing location-aware advertisements through their Adwords/Adsense cash cow? Are we at the point yet where the average consumer would like to see ads from local businesses, or would the average consumer view this as an invasion of privacy? Is the ability to opt-out of such a service sufficient?

There's certainly a lot going on under the surface here.. This undoubtedly has implications for other Google services like Google Local too.

Anyhow, running late to class.. anyone else have any thoughts about the new Google Maps service?

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