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> "Before Google Maps we had a few online map services and they were terrible. Google Maps redefined what it means to have free access to web based interactive global maps"

This is not true. MapQuest revolutionized things almost 10 years earlier than Google Maps. Google search is what allowed Google Maps to overtake MapQuest. Also, Android providing real-time traffic data of all their users gave them the winning formula.

Free scrolling was pretty revolutionary.

As was, like, an app that could reroute live instead of relying on pre-printed paper instructions.

Gmaps had both before MapQuest.

You are right that traffic was revolutionary and that's why google maps became the defacto standard. However, in context with the original post, this is exactly why it's unfair. Google has an android that gives them user location data which they then use as a competitive advantage in another space to eliminate all competition. If Android were 1 business and GoogleMaps another, then people like MapQuest could also negotiate deals with Android to get user data and then it's a matter of who has the best platform that wins. That's what is best for the consumer as well. In the current structure, there is no way that a small business like MapQuest could build a smartphone to ascertain user data and nor should they have to. They should only have to build the best map application to succeed in the online mapping space. Having to also succeed in location data aggregation eliminates competition. It's designed so the giants can eat the small guys at will without them being able to fight back.

Worth mentioning a couple factors related to this. You couldn't turn location data on for any service external to Google without also having it turned on for Google & even when you had location services turned off for Google sometimes they still had it turned on anyhow.

I'm not talking about using traffic data. Simply rerouting if you, for example, miss a turn, which instructions on paper can't do.

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