Ask Launches New “Deals” Vertical Within Search

Online coupons have been around for many years, at least a decade. Despite this no publisher or site has arisen to yet win the space. There's no Facebook of coupons, no Twitter of coupons and, dare I say it, no Google of coupons. Google itself would seem to have missed or mishandled the opportunity with its peek-a-boo approach to local coupons. Yet coupons and deals have become progressively hotter during the recession. And now there are a growing number of sites online and in mobile that promise access to offers and savings. Sensing a differentiating opportunity, Ask is today launching a [...]

Google Maps: #1 In Features, Market Share Rising

As Google Maps continues to roll out new features that competing map services don't have, web users are rewarding it with big gains in traffic. A recent analyst report says Google is the number one maps site in terms of features and usability, and new traffic data just shared this week with Search Engine Land shows Google Maps pulling much closer to category leader MapQuest. In a report issued this week, the boutique investment bank Cowen and Company says Google is the clear leader with the most user-friendly features among the four major mapping sites. "Google Maps has meaningf [...] Drops Map Product & Outsources To Microsoft Virtual Earth

The LiveSide Blog reported that Chris Pendleton,Virtual Earth Evangelist, posted the news that has now dropped their own mapping product for Microsoft's Virtual Earth. Virtual Earth can now be found on Ask Maps, Ask City, and within Ask's search results as Smart Answers. It is a shame to see dissolve the mapping service, but it really comes as no surprise to me as they continue to cut costs and outsource innovation to other companies. Microsoft does have an excellent mapping product, which is used by,, and, amongst others. Is t [...]

Ask Introduces New Maps & Directions For UK

The mapping upgrades and improvements are coming so fast now from Google, Microsoft, MapQuest, and Yahoo that it's difficult to keep track of all the changes. Luckily, the Ask Blog walks us through all the features of the new and improved Ask Maps UK, which includes multi-point routing, walking directions (which are claimed to be unique to Ask), aerial views, and incorporates landmarks, transit, and points of interest. However, this isn't a map-centric local search site, like Ask City in the US. A search for local information on the Ask UK Maps site (e.g., London Hotels) will send users to As [...]

Flash Earth Puts Google Earth, Virtual Earth & Others On Web

FlashEarth Mashup with Google Earth 4.2 from the Google Earth Blog reports on a site named Flash Earth that provides mapping services from several providers in a desktop like experience, using Flash technologies. Flash Earth gives you mapping data from Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo Maps, OpenLayers and NASA Terra. The Flash map lets you select one of those maps and then you can click or drag the map to the location you want. You can also use arrow keys or the compass control to move the map to your desired location. You can rotate the map by turning your compass wheel with [...]

Google Under Fire For Showing Pre-Katrina New Orleans Images; Others Doing The Same?

Google goes back to pre-Katrina maps from USA Today reports that Google Maps has changed their satellite imagery of New Orleans to show pre-Katrina images, getting some local residents angry and wondering if there's some type of cover-up in the works. However, it's unclear if these are pre-Katrina images or not -- and the situation's just as confusing with mapping services from other search engines. USA Today writes: Google's popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling like they're in a time loop and e [...]

Google Maps Tailgates Yahoo, Microsoft With Real-Time Traffic Info

Google Maps has caught up with Yahoo and Microsoft in adding live traffic reporting for the United States to their online mapping service. Google Operating System spotted the change today (and Google now has the official word up here). To see the traffic yourself, just go to Google Maps and click on the new "Traffic" button that you'll see in the upper right-hand corner of the map page, right before the "Map" and "Satellite" and "Hybrid" buttons. Pushing that button will make traffic light icons show up, like this: Everywhere you see an icon, that [...]

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