Yahoo will shut down Yahoo Maps by the end of this month
Last week Yahoo announced that by the end of June it will kill its mapping service Yahoo! Maps. The project started in May 2007 as a main competitor for Google Maps. And it was quite good. It had a similar design and functionality. At that time both services were more or less the same and I’m guessing that the number of users of both platforms was also similar.
But over the last 8 years the situation changed… Frankly speaking I don’t know anyone who is or have been using Yahoo! Maps over the last few years as Google became the one and only hegemon among global consumer web map providers. Yahoo will still use mapping functionality within their services e.g. Flickr but it won’t necessarily be powered off their own mapping service. We can guess that it will be HERE which has been powering Yahoo! Maps for around 3 years already.
Is it a good business decision? From one side it will bring some savings on the platform which has neither been used by users, nor monetized by Yahoo. On the other hand Yahoo redefined itself as a mobile company and every GeoGeek knows that Mobile=Local=Location-Based Services. In order to build upon “local” in the mobile industry you need work on some kind of geographic engine. Is it good to fully depend on services of external map technology providers? Well, Yahoo thinks that it’s good enough… and who knows, maybe it is…
build:LA – map of LA’s urban development
Some time ago we wrote about a cool map which showed a history of Brooklyn’s urban development by visualizing age of every building in the district. It showed that the structure of the biggest by population New York borough is still very similar to how it looked a century ago. Most of buildings built at that time are still there. The case with LA seems to be a little bit different. Media are rumbling about “classic” L.A. homes being displaced by even bigger new houses, changing the face of old neighbourhoods.
Urban designer Omar Ureta created an interactive map which will help to tell you the full story. It shows general patterns but also particular stories behind these urban changes. The project called built: LA visualizes the age of 2.9 million buildings across L.A. County constructed between 1890 and 2008. Ureta combined a data about shapes of buildings from Los Angeles County’s GIS data portal with their age information from UCLA’s Mapshare website. The effect is a stunning decade-by-decade timelapse of development across the city. Play around. It’s quite cool.