Is the latest incarnation of Google Maps the closest thing to heaven on earth, literally?
Perusing Techmeme would suggest so, starting with the Official Google Blog declaration that a new My Maps feature is “Map-making: So easy a caveman could do it.”
Google’s message is on Googley target and typically widely reinforced:
Mashable: “Google launches My Maps, Platial gets screwed”
For evidence, a (very underwhelming) custom My Maps “Mashable’s House” is offered.
Platial, “The People’s Atlas,” apparently disagrees, however. Comment by Deisnor:
Have more confidence in startups.
We actually knew last week that this was coming — we were never naive enough to think Google wouldn’t identify some part of the giant mash-up space for themselves.
We’ve gone beyond mash-up into a space where real differentiation now takes place among mapping offerings. Google has disrupted our businesses this morning BUT haven’t touched what we consider to be our main use case, target or any of that…yet. Disruption is a reality and while of course I don’t revel in the idea of competing with Google, there are many ways this can be good most importantly that they have elevated the game.
It’s been tough for people to see the real technology behind mash-ups because it has been something in Google’s wake. This will be a great strengthener for a couple of mash-up companies.
Gigaom: “Google My Maps smashes mash-ups”
The consequences of Google’s announcement could be quite dire for a gaggle of map mashup start-ups including Platial, Frappr, Flagr and Plazes, to name a few — that have raised millions of dollars in venture capital.
Plazes, “Knows Where,” also apparently disagrees. Comment by Felix Peterson:
We really don´t like to view Plazes as a map mash-up. Plazes bridges your physical presence with your digital identity. It allows you to publish your current geo-presence through different check-in channels like our new SMS service.
It is about where you are and where your friends are. Not about POIs plotted on a map. That presence data is presented in many different ways, from the Website on a Google Map to your blog badge or as a text message to your friends.
Are all well thought out “map mash-up startups” really “screwed,” and in “dire” straits as of a single Google product enhancement, as Pete Cashmore and Om Malik say.
HARDLY. Just like Google has a stellar track record in unsuccessful tests of would-be offline advertising category killers—print, radio, soon TV—it has a long list of would be disruptive Google products and features that are “not meaningful” to Google's results, or to the overwhelming majority of Google users:
What were the disruptive consequences of Google Video? A $1.65 billion Google acquisition of scrappy start-up YouTube.
In celebrating My Maps, Google offers mashups done by Googlers, including the one below called “Monster Sightings, Locations of monster sightings across the globe.”
Does it really portend a “monster” application?
ALSO: Google: The REAL Dish on EchoStar TV ad sales deal and “Why Google Television will NOT make money” and Google blurs line between advertising and content, again