US: Last Fall, Google had announced that it would be charging its heaviest Maps users for map views/impressions over 25,000 per day. Each additional 1,000 page loads would cost USD 4. Apart from OpenStreetMap (OSM), another beneficiary of Google’s move to charge for Maps users is deCarta, a mapping and geo-services provider. deCarta announced, “In the last 90 days, we have had 488 new companies sign up on the deCarta DevZone and start working with our offerings.”
The company surveyed developers and found out a number of things about what’s going on in the market:
– More than 50 percent of the new developers on its platform were defections from Google Maps.
– Many of those developers were not financially impacted by the fees; however they wanted predictability and stability in their mapping product.
– Some said they were also seeking differentiation with an alternative mapping UI.
– Developers expressed a need for more services than what Google was offering.
– They also wanted different data sets to choose from (deCarta apparently offers/supports multiple local data sets).
While Google remains the dominant mapping platform used by publishers and developers for mapping services, it is likely to now face much more competition. In particular it will be interesting to see what Apple offers and how enticing it is for developers to integrate into their apps.
As mentioned, there’s also an opportunity for Bing, Nokia/Navteq and certainly even Mapquest, itself once in the position of Google Maps as the market leader, to be more aggressive and attract developers and publishers away from Google Maps. It’s not clear whether Google’s larger competitors will be able to capitalise on the opening.