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Google Takes Browser Wars To Front Line

Google Maps, Latest Search Tool

The browser wars have moved into new territory. Google has released a beta version of Google Maps, offering services similar to MapQuest, including driving directions and the ability to search for local businesses. It is reported that Google worked with TeleAtlas for the mapping product, although neither company would confirm this.

Compared to standard mapping products, Google Maps offers some unique features. Users can click and drag the maps, instead of having to click and reload, for example, and magnified views of specific spots pop up in bubbles. The new map service supports Internet Explorer and Mozilla browsers. It covers the United States, Puerto Rico and parts of Canada.

The new service was not entirely unexpected. In October, Google bought digital mapping company Keyhole. Keyhole supplies online satellite maps that allow users to zoom down to street level to specific locations and its system is built on a database with trillions of bits of mapping data collected from satellites and airplanes.

An outcome of the search battles between Google and companies like Yahoo and Microsoft have led to a flurry of new features that have been introduced rapidly. Mapping products are very valuable properties, since they can generate revenue from the large number of advertisers who favor them.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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