The Implications of Google Maps

The Atlantic’s article, “How Google Builds Its Maps – and What It Means for the Future of Everything” isn’t an article about Google Maps as much as it is about Google’s approach to handling data.  As one would expect, there is a lot more to the inner structure of Google Maps than a map from a satellite image.  The directions that you get when you ask how to get from point A to point B stem from a long line of logic problems, logic problems that Google would only know the answers to if Google had committed manpower to investigate the roads themselves.  The physical space that Google Maps allow you to navigate is filled with data that first must be combed for consistency.  Sure, first Google uses other maps with data inputs already, but Google’s commitment to correct data has sent their employees driving all across the world in order to build a massive dataset that is comparable to the physical world that we call reality.

This commitment to accuracy doesn’t just affect Google’s map interfaces, however; this type of thorough and dedicated investment in technologies and applications gives Google a competitive edge in other markets. Google’s strength is the utilization of information, and investments in such areas are helping Google gain an edge over Apple in the growing battle over mobile phones. In particular, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal posits “geo data” in particular “will play an important role in the battle for mobile phones”. While geo data is becoming undeniably important in the mobile phone market, its usages and implementations have larger implications. Google’s large data management techniques as a whole indicate great potential for future developments in the overall field of data analysis.