Friday, December 12, 2008

Google Maps Grows & Grows

According to research firm Hitwise Mapquest's traffic is down 21% for the year, while Google's is up 67%. Mapquest is still the number one destination for searchers looking for maps, with 41% of all traffic to mapping sites in the last week, compared with 35% for Google. However Google is catching up fast.

One reason for Google's increasing market share in online mapping is the pace of development at Google Maps. On Monday I posted a large roundup of the new developments announced by the Google Maps team this year, including Map Maker, the Google Maps API for Flash and the Google Static Maps API.

Also this week the official Google Blog published a post on the hugely popular Google Maps street view. The post revealed that this year Google have made a 22-fold increase in the amount of street view imagery available around the world.

Of course another reason for the large increase in Google Maps' traffic is the incredible work done by developers using the Google Maps API. Next Monday I will be posting a summary of some of the excellent Google Maps mash-ups we have seen this year.

To round off what has been a good news week for Google comes the announcement that online real estate site Redfin have dropped Microsoft Virtual Earth in favour of Google Maps. In explaining the reasons for this change Redfin say,

"In the end, it was speed, speed, speed that convinced us to switch. In our worst case scenario of 500 pushpins on the map in IE6, GMaps is 385% faster. Users who come to Redfin’s site now should see maps load and render just a little bit quicker, which makes us feel a little Googley inside."

Via: techflash (hat-tip to Dave Parsons)

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