As mobile location-based services ramp mapping is vital. Google Maps is intertwined with corporate applications and various mashups too. Microsoft has powerful mapping tools too.
Add it up and its a mapping war that pits Google Maps against the OpenStreetMap/Mapquest/Microsoft trio. On March 1, Mapquest said on its developer blog:
Is 2012 the year of Open mapping? We've been ecstatic to see the energy around OpenStreetMap, and have noticed several applications recently convert to using MapQuest-OSM tiles and other companies like foursquare embrace OpenStreetMap as a foundation of their business.
Now it has Mapquest intellectual property in the fold, it will have the tools to either nudge out Google Maps or at the very least sue.