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Google Maps dominates the travel-related mobile usage. What does this means for businesses?

posted Dec 7, 2012, 4:17 PM by Rafael Marxuach   [ updated Feb 13, 2013, 9:45 AM ]

In 2010 tourists in New York city spent 31 billion dollars reaching a record of 49.7 million visitors. Today, Google Maps dominates a whopping 78% of the travel-related usage on mobile, the undisputed travel application according to the latest Nielsen study. This is equivalent to 77.8 million people that used the Google Maps App. on an iPhone or Android handsets during June 2012. If you add other 17.4 million smartphone owners that visited the Google Maps mobile web you get a grand total of 92.2 million in a month period.

No wonder why Apple decided to demote Google maps as the default application on the iPhone. (Yes, you can still manually install Google Maps, if you choose). This news has made some business owners wonder which route to take. Meanwhile, the war between these two titans - to dominate the mobile platform - isn't going to stop any time soon. For the consumers the decision to choose iOS or Android could be complicated, each of us have our own preferences, favorite applications and a whole ecosystem built around our smartphones.

On the other hand, from a business point of view the decision should be easier, businesses need to adapt, and be where the eyeballs are. At this moment the place is Google Maps according to the Nielsen study. The future is to be seen. Do you think that Apple Maps will catch up with Google’s dominant mapping infrastructure?

Virtual Tours are an important layer of visual content weaved on the Google mapping infrastructure. In my opinion these can offer a competitive advantage for businesses that value Good Design, simultaneously lifting the bar of an aesthetic built environment. 

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