During an online mapping panel at our Interactive Local Media conference last week, we discussed how feature rollouts have slowed from their frenetic pace of a few years ago.
This includes street-level imagery, satellite, multi-point directions and a number of other bells and whistles that were first incited by Google’s 2005 acquisition of Keyhole. More recently, innovation and differentiation in mapping has instead come from third-party mapping applications of data sets or social content (i.e., Twitter streams).
One point we didn’t have time to fully explore was mobile. Mobile is clearly tied to mapping interfaces, as the aforementioned features — more or less being commoditized online — still have room to grow in mobile.
First mover in the online mapping space MapQuest is the most recent to bring many of these online features to its mobile suite of products. This includes personalization, saved routes and walking directions.
It has also launched a feature born from mobile mapping (as opposed to desktop) in its location awareness tool that finds the users and ranks local search results accordingly. We first saw this done by Google on the iPhone and in Java apps a few years ago (via cell tower triangulation).
Generally, many of these features come packaged in new versions of MapQuest’s products across iPhone (v 1.2), BlackBerry and Android platforms (and mobile Web). Read the full list of updates, separated by device platform here.