Google Maps: The Epic Rise Of Digital Map Application

Google Maps

There was a time when getting around was a lot more complicated. It required planning, difficulty to fold paper-maps, arguing with a spouse, and often needing to stop and ask for directions. But almost 15 years ago, the scenario changed. Today, digital map applications like Google Maps, Apple, and Waze can navigate around traffic, reminds us where we parked our car, and even notify us about natural disasters.

Amongst them, Google Maps is dominating. Google Maps has become essential in the daily lives of almost over one billion of its monthly users. It’s mapped to more than 220 countries and territories and its data is updated tens of thousands of times a day.

When Google Maps first debuted in 2005, Google said that it was designed to simplify how to get from the current location to the destination. It looked drastically different from how it looks today. In fact, its first map didn’t include much of the world. However, after a decade of investing, collecting data, and billions of images, it not only dominates the navigational app market, but it is one of the most popular applications of the last decade.

With the variety of navigation options provided by Maps Google has a massive upper hand over its competitors. The user can even track to the bottom of the destination, thanks to the Street View Tracker.

How did Google Maps come into existence?

According to various reports, Google Maps started as a result of acquisitions that Google as a firm made. And the first acquisition that they made in 2004 could be considered as the base of the robust application that Google Maps is today. It was called Where2 technologies. This was converted from a Web application, and it became really critical to how Google would eventually make its core Maps product.

They also went on to acquire Keyhole, another mapping company that used satellite and aerial images to create 3D maps, whose technology later came to be known as Google Earth. One more firm ZipDash was acquired by Google in the same period. This company used GPS to provide real-time traffic information. The technology stack of all these companies was incorporated by google along with its own technology. This is how Google Maps came into existence.

At the very early stages, only a few countries were mapped. But, with Street View coming into existence the company embarked on the journey to map the entire world. Initially, cars mounted with cameras drove around the streets of the five US cities. Over the next few years, and with the help of trekkers, the Street View team collected more than 170 billion images from 87 countries, fascinating, isn’t it? Thanks to all this, we can now see a 360-degree view of any place, anywhere on the face of the earth.

Once the Google Maps application was created for mobile phones, humanity witnessed a boom like never before! Thus, this conversion to web application unlocked the true potential of Google Maps.

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