Google Gives Green Light to Traffic Reports

Google announced it has integrated real-time traffic reports on Google Maps. Yahoo! has had traffic reports since late 2004, and Microsoft rolled out a traffic feature (care of Traffic.com) in the May 2006 relaunch of Windows Live Local.

Maps, like search, has been a highly competitive area for which capturing users with new features has been the name of the game (see Advisory “Maps: Where are We Now, Where are We Going?“).

It’s surprising that Google has been this far behind in a competitive feature in any of its products. The only remaining major online mapping provider without real-time traffic data is Ask.com  also surprising given its mapping feature development of late (it was the first to offer multi-point directions and draggable points on a map).

Below is a screen shot of San Francisco real-time traffic data. More can be found at Search Engine Land and on the official Google Blog.

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