The People Behind Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest & Other Mapping Software

Cartographers hit the road to bring updated online maps by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells the story behind the individuals who draw the maps we use in our GPS devices or via our favorite online mapping software.

NAVTEQ is the company that MapQuest, Google, Yahoo and others use for their mapping database. They travel the globe, document new roads, old roads, construction issues and more. One thing I found particularly interesting is what construction effort warrants a map change at MapQuest;

MapQuest manager Christian Dwyer said his company typically adjusts its maps any time a construction project exceeds three months; the Highway 40 project is expected to run about three years.

The story also gives stats on the most popular online mapping services. MapQuest leads with a 68 percent share of those seeking maps online in November 2006, followed by Google at 28 percent and Yahoo at 27 percent. Stats are from Nielsen/NetRatings and don’t add to 100 percent because some people use more than one service.

Related Topics: AOL: MapQuest | Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Search Engines: Maps & Local Search Engines | Stats: Popularity | Yahoo: Maps & Local


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Matt Cutts

    I’d be curious to hear more about maps market share. Back in May, Hitwise published some figures:
    that said Google Maps had 7.5% market share. That was also around the time that the “Google can succeed in search, but doesn’t do as well in other areas” meme started.

    Maybe this is another AJAX issue? Does anyone have access to recent Hitwise market share estimates for mapping sites? I’d be curious to see how they compare with Nielsen/NetRatings.

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