Google’s Marissa Mayer spoke at the SXSW 2011 conference and she shared some interesting stats on Google Maps for Mobile and the search giant’s future plans for location-based services.
First of all, she said that the company found Google Maps had 40% usage on the mobile side, which isn’t much of a surprise considering that it’s preloaded on the iPhone and on most Android devices. Google continues to improve this product too, as the fifth version added 3D vector maps and more.
You know, doing what I do and seeing what I see, it’s easy to become jaded and not impressed by things. I do remember being blown away by the Google Maps for Mobile 5 and its ability to do 3D images of buildings and that was reinforced at SXSW. She showed it off to the crowd and there were audible gasps of delight and excitement.
Google also introduced the Google Navigation feature last year and this provided free, audible turn-by-turn directions. Mayer said that this will be used for 2 billion driving miles by the end of the year, which is quite an eye-popping number. f
Mayer wasn’t just praising the company’s efforts in location, as she indicated that there is still a lot of work to be done. She mentioned that Google Maps could probably use better customer support in order to stop giving users wrong directions or inaccurate directions.
Mayer also mentioned that the company may have too many similar features under different branding. For instance, Google HotPot offers reviews of locations but it’s part of Places. Those two should eventually merge, Mayer indicated.
Mayer will be heading up the search giant’s location-based services and we expect that to be a major part of Google’s plans at least the next decade. Because of that, she made our list of women who rock in mobile tech and she’s going to be a powerful figure for a long, long time.