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The History of Google Maps and How Does Google Maps Make Money?

Because of the Internet, our daily lives are becoming much easier and more active. Among all Internet-based services, Google’s various services are the most used. One of the most useful services offered by Google is Google Maps. According to an estimate by Morgan Stanley, Google Maps Revenue will be about 11 billion dollars or more by 2023. Google Maps’ monthly active users estimate more than 1 billion. On the other hand, the Google Maps platform already covers more than 200 countries of the world. Since users can use Google map free of cost, what is the income sources of this platform? We will learn about that in this article.

History of Google Maps

Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen, Two developers of an Australian company named “Where 2 Technologies” created a C ++ program that needs to be downloaded as a separate application for use.

Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen Developers of Google Maps

The starting of Google Maps basically begins from this application. In 2004, Google acquires “Where 2 Technologies” and that program automatically comes under Google, and the next year, it was launched as “Google Maps”. In 2006, a Street View feature was added to the map. In November 2007, the application’s Mobile version 2.0 was launched along with the newly added ‘My Location’ feature. In that year, Apple added ‘Google Map’ on their first smartphone “iPhone” which was released that year. In 2008, the Android version of that application was launched. In 2011, the “Map Maker” feature was enabled In Google Map’s American version where users can make changes and corrections to the map according to their needs. Although the feature was closed afterward. In 2012, Apple removed the pre-installed Google Map feature from their iPhone. However, they have added the APP to their App Store, so that people can install it if they need it. In 2015, Google Maps launched the Local Guides program. Contributors usually contribute to that program without getting payment; however, Google provides points based on local guide’s contributions. According to the different levels of those points, Google provides rewards to the local guides. Google’s Local Guide community is quite a prestigious community worldwide. In April 2016, Google map upgraded their satellite view mapping to 700 trillion pixels. In June 2018, 18 streamlined API was launched for the Google Maps three core products – Maps, Routes, and Places’ s. Along with that, a consolidated pricing plan, free customer support, and other business applications were added. In January 2019, the Google Maps ‘speed trap’ and ‘speed camera’ were added, and in December, the ‘Incognito Mood’ feature was added by Google as well. In February 2020, Google map’s logo was re-designed at their 15th Birthday anniversary.

At the same year, in September, a “COVID-19 Layer” was added with a new update. Where they provide updates for each week’s average death rates, how many are infected per 1 million people etc.

How Google Maps Makes Money?

A large portion of Google Maps revenue comes from ads. Google Map also generates revenue by landmark navigation, API & Partnership, and premium subscription.

Local Search Ads

Using Google maps, when a search is made for any restaurant, hotel, shop, or any other thing in a specified area or city, some related suggestions appear. Among those suggestions, some ads also appeared with the ‘ad’ text labeled to them. In addition, in some cases, the color is different which is pinned at the beginning of the suggestion list. These companies paid Google Maps for those ads.

Customized Pins & Landmark

Google map shows some business or brand logo on their map pinned at a customized way. At the time of searching locations, the business or brand logo appears before an individual’s eye separately. By providing such customized ‘Pin service’, Google Maps generate some of its revenue.

Google map shows Customized Pin service & Landmark

Google Maps is very popular for landmark navigation. Google Maps uses a variety of local business names as their navigation points. Google Map uses some brand names while providing navigation in various regions. For example, “Turn right at the KFC” or “Turn left after Burger King”. With this strategy, brands get promotions and in return, they usually pay Google Maps.

Licensing Partnerships

Ride-sharing companies, Food Delivery Services, startups, and a variety of companies use customized Google Maps on their websites or apps. Companies do a variety of licensing partnerships with Google. With such licensing, Google Maps generated a major part of its Revenue.

Premium Subscription

Google Maps generated revenues from their premium subscription as well. The Platform has a couple of subscription plans including Static Street View, Dynamic Street View, Distance Matrix Advanced, Roads- Speed Limits, Place Details, and Gaming Solution, and a few others. In addition to that, Google map provides ‘customized solutions’, ‘worldwide partnerships’ and ‘prizes discount benefits’ for enterprise Customers.

The Google Map platform has been providing users a free service since the beginning of the journey. So the platform’s direct financial engagement with users is very limited. They never disclose revenue-related data as they generate revenues from advertising, just like Google. In everyday life, we keep using any of Google’s services. Among those, Google Map is one of the significant services. Very few people are there who do not use Google maps once in a day for exploring a new city, searching locations, directions, traffic data updates, and other useful services. But the services are given by Google free of cost.

Michael Walker
Michael Walker
Michael Walker has made a name for himself as an independent journalist and economist. He is a Stanford University graduate and has built a career as a contributor for MSNBC and The New York Times. Now, he spends his time writing articles for several renowned publications and primarily focuses on the on-goings of different companies, businesses, and the general happenings of the world.

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