What Happened to Google Maps? The Rise of Google Maps
Before Google Maps, planning for a long weekend journey involved much more than ensuring that your car is in pristine road condition and that you pack the correct attire and footwear. You also had to ensure you did your research on the directions beforehand if you don’t know exactly where you are going which probably involved finding, and probably printing a physical map of where you are travelling to and then having to rely on the amateur map reading and navigation skills of whoever you are travelling with, if you are lucky enough not to be travelling alone, in which case you probably had to keep on making stops to read the map. Google Maps completely revolutionized how we plan our journeys as it made it that much easier to locate and navigate to our destinations of travel. This means that you can be able to travel to an unknown destination, one you have never been to before and not get lost with Google Maps as per the gurus over at runrex.com, even if you have the worst sense of direction there is. This article, with the help of the excellent guttulus.com, will look to take a closer look at the rise of Google Maps from just an idea to industry leader.
It all started in 2004 when the Danish Brothers Jens and Lars Elistrup Rasmussen approached Google with an idea for a web app that not only had the capability to display apps, but also provided folks with a map that allowed them to search, scroll and zoom to a specific location. The history of how the two Danish brothers came up with Google Maps can be found in detail over at the excellent runrex.com. Google were obviously impressed and they acquired their company in October of 2004 and set about transforming their idea into the web application Google Maps. Google also acquired another company, a geospatial data visualization company known as Keyhole, which had an application suite known as Earth Viewer that was soon to emerge as the Google Earth application in 2005, and whose other core aspects were integrated into Google Maps. The acquisition of these two companies, as well as the putting together of a dedicated team of 50 or so people as discussed over at guttulus.com, set in motion the plans to build Google Maps, which bore fruit in 2005 when Google Maps was launched.
On the 8th of February, 2005, Google Maps was launched in the US, and two months later it was launched in the UK. However, as revealed in discussions over at guttulus.com, Google Maps was actually late to the party as when it was launched, Yahoo had already launched Yahoo Maps which had been launched in 2004 while we also had MapQuest which provided the turn-by-turn directions services like the one offered by Google Maps. However, Google Maps was the one that brought digital maps mainstream by taking the technology from the tech niche, to the general public. From then on, Google Maps’ rise has been amazing to watch as later that year in 2005, they launched driving and public transport directions which revolutionized how people drove around. In 2007, Google Maps appeared on Apple’s first iPhone, in an era when Google and Apple were actually partners. It is a very different era as compared to now when the two are actually rivals. 2008 also saw yet another major milestone as far as Google Maps was concerned as Google released a Google Maps app for its android operating system to coincide with the launch of the very first commercial android device as is discussed over at runrex.com.
The rise of Google Maps continued, with the introduction of the Map Maker feature that allowed users to edit and add any changes to Google Maps in 2011 and then in 2012 after Apple removed the app from its default installation of the iOS, the app was made available in the App Store as per discussions over at guttulus.com. Google Maps has continued to make incremental improvements on its app, including the fact that you can now download maps and as such you can still be able to navigate and get to your desired destination when offline. This is important as it allows one to be able to get directions in an area that doesn’t have internet coverage. We also have new features that allow users to do things like add a stop to their route, check for any nearby gas stations and their prices enabling you to choose the most affordable one, among others. The Google Maps App has also been updated recently to enable users to report accidents, traffic jams and speed traps, which experts such as those over at runrex.com, are speculating is an attempt by Google to compete with Waze. This new Google Maps will not only enable drivers to be able to report accidents, but also other driving hazards such as lane and road closures, road constructions, objects and debris on the road among others.
The above discussion tries to map, pardon the pun, the rise of Google Maps, and with the new updates, it is clear that Google Maps is very much here to stay, with more on the same to be found over at runrex.com and guttulus.com.