Battle of the Map Mash-ups

Maps-on-the-web seem to be the latest feature set, the big three – Google, Microsoft and Yahoo – seem to be be working overtime to attract the affections of developers who can remix and mash-up maps into something new and wonderful. Microsoft, of course, is using brute force, aka dollars, to lure developers to its “virtual earth” platform. (By the way, I do love Virtual Earth, more so than the other two – which is a personal preference thing you know!)

Visit www.viavirtualearth.com and enter our contest by submitting your own Virtual Earth “map app.” The first 25 entrants will receive a copy of Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 with GPS. And if yours is the best entry in the opinion of our judges, you’ll win $1,000 cash!

This might be a good way to attract developer affection. Microsoft clearly wants to turn virtual earth maps into a source of “local advertising revenues.” Meanwhile users have shifting loyalties. Rags for instance has switched from Google Maps to Yahoo Maps, because, “Yahoo’s version lets you super-impose the locations of things like subway station, atms, restaurants and coffee shops … I stuck with Google Maps for a while expecting continued innovation but things seemed to have stayed pretty static since they launched it.”

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