Brady Forest has a slightly disturbing article on O’Reilly Radar about the extent of Google’s investment and coverage in geodata.
Google has been investing lots of money in geodata acquisition. Some of the money is being spent externally: they’ve inked an exclusive satellite imagery deal with GeoEye and a data sharing deal with Tele Atlas. And some is being spent internally with Mapmaker, Street View and the web.
Mapmaker is apparently being used in 164 countries and must be a concern to Open Street Map. it seems unlikely that people are going to take the time to volunteer their contributions to both OSM and Google. Unless I have missed something Google are not offering to make the Mapmaker user generated content freely available for reuse except through the Google Maps API.
Exclusive satellite content, deals with TA etc. Google are piling their cash into acquiring and building geodata. is this just to create some stickiness to support their advertising revenue model or is there another agenda?
Is it just me who gets a shiver down my spine when I look at this map of world domination by Google? Are we going to wake up one day and wonder how we allowed Google to overwhelm this space? Or maybe they are lovely cuddly people who have our best interests at heart and we have no reason to be concerned. At least with the dreaded Microsoft (the one we loved to hate) I think I know what their business model is!