Google Maps Celebrates 15th Anniversary; Introduces New Contribute Tab

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Google Maps is celebrating its 15th birthday by introducing a redesign. Maps will be using users' reviews and photos of places visited to expand data accumulation. The new feature comes under a 'Contribute' tab where users can share reviews and photos of transit and local businesses.

Google Maps Celebrates 15th Anniversary With New Feature

 

Google Maps For Transit

The new-look is available on the mobile app, Google said in a blog post. The Contribute tab, which can be accessed via the menu at the bottom of the app, will likely be another platform for target advertising.

As part of the anniversary, Google will be asking users to review more about their train and bus rides, including the temperature of cabins, accommodations for people with impaired mobility and security, and safety features. As it is, Google already tracks the user's location for surveying about crowded transit and so on.

Google's Antitrust Issues

Google's investment of billions of dollars in search ads business has created a large footprint, where nearly one billion users access the free navigation app. Google had planned to increase its profits by increasing the ads sale on Google Maps app, where users could rely on it for data on places and transit. This, in turn, would expand the company's advertising landscape.

The search giant notes that the redesign comes as a response to users' feedback (who submit data to Google) to make contributing easier for hundreds of millions of people. While it's interesting to see the new revamped Google Maps app, it's going to be difficult for local review-based apps like Yelp, Zomato, and TripAdvisor. These companies (along with many others) were part of the antitrust investigations about Google's dominant position in search to popularize its new tools.

Companies like TripAdvisor, Zomato rely on user reviews for the core of their business. However, none of them have commented so far. At the same time, local apps for business information or transit claim to have better real-time data than Google. However, Google has the advantage of a larger global footprint and access to large datasets.

 

In comparison, the Apple Maps app takes a different route by incorporating reviews and photos from services like Yelp.

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