Google's ultimate mapping weapon

Screenshot of Google's My Maps using the Photos from Panoramio mashup tool

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Remember when you actually had to ask people for directions? Seems so long ago. Now, of course, you just go on the Web and type in the address. This is one area where Google isn't No. 1. MapQuest has almost half the market share, with Yahoo Maps in second place. But this morning, Google set off in a new direction. Dan Grech has more.


Dan Grech: Google's My Maps allows users to create personalized mashups.

Mashups layer data onto a map to show, say, the cheapest gas close to your office, crimes committed in your neighborhood or real estate listings in the city you've got your eye on.

Developers have been creating mashups for years. What's new is Google's providing tools — or mapplets as the company dubs them — for everyone to create their own mashup.

And it gathers these personalized maps in a single, user-friendly location.

That means more eyeballs in one place — and more Google ad revenue. Joseph Jaffe runs Crayon, a new marketing innovation company.

Joseph Jaffe: The new super currency today is not just the tech link but the linkback, that allows everything to come back to the nest, or I think in Google's case, we may as well call it the mother ship, because that's really what it's becoming, The Death Star if you will.

I guess that would make Yahoo and MapQuest the Rebel Alliance.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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