Mapping battle heats up as Amazon acquires UpNext

Just one month after Apple unveiled its plan to dump Google Maps across all its iOS devices in favour of its own, in-house mapping application, Amazon has signalled it could soon enter the market after purchasing a 3D mapping startup called UpNext.

UpNext, a startup that had offers 3D mapping capabilities for the United States through iPhone, iPad and Android applications, was founded in 2007 "by four high school friends who wanted to make better maps."

The purchase of the startup by Amazon - scooped by technology publication GigaOmmarks a new move for Amazon and suggests it could launch its own mapping tool in the not to distant future. 

"As part of the deal, the four-person company will be shipping off to Seattle to lead the company’s core mapping effort, according to a source familiar with the matter," GigaOm wrote of the deal.

As of present, Amazon does not offer any form of mapping tools for its users - and the present model of its hit, low-cost tablet the Kindle Fire has not got any in-built GPS features. However if - and that's, for now, a big if - the company is working on a new mapping platform for its Fire device, future editions of the tablet could offer GPS functionality.

Launching its own maps platform would place Amazon in direct competition with Apple, Google and Microsoft all of whom now offer their own respective map platforms.

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8 Comments

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Meh. Probably won't be using this since there are already good mapping services available but what the heck, competition is always welcome.

FoxieFoxie said,
Why?

Tech companies need to stop answering questions that no one is asking. We don't need another maps alternative...

siah1214 said,

Tech companies need to stop answering questions that no one is asking. We don't need another maps alternative...

If competition leads to innovation then it has to be good...

S_Herbie said,

If competition leads to innovation then it has to be good...

The only thing which makes me pick between maps is the colour scheme!

Minimoose said,

The only thing which makes me pick between maps is the colour scheme!

Rather than ease of use, accuracy or clarity of detail?

FoxieFoxie said,
Why?

Why not?

siah1214 said,

Tech companies need to stop answering questions that no one is asking. We don't need another maps alternative...

My industry is asking. Just because you are unaware doesn't mean the question doesn't exist.

I am a GIS Analyst. Our industry has been using Google Maps and Bing Maps. We will most likely use Apple's Maps service on out iPad that we deploy to Field surveyors. One more maps service is a welcome.

You see you are looking at it one way. My industry looks at it as if someone is giving you something of value for nothing. What kind of a person says "NO" to something given to you of value?

S_Herbie said,

If competition leads to innovation then it has to be good...

Just stop. That was an intelligent response. You don't belong here.