3 thoughts on “Eight years later, Google reinvents its Maps for a data rich web”

  1. > While Google likes to say that it will have our “friend’s recommendations” and social signals in the new apps, in all honesty they are unlikely to have that information. I don’t use Google+ and neither do others who are happily poking away on Facebook.

    I can’t believe people keep missing this again and again and again: G+ is just ONE of the many sources of data on which Google builds your social graph. Your may not use G+, but I bet hundreds (if not thousands) of people have circled you on G+. I bet you and many of your friends have address books that are backed up on Google Contacts. I bet all of you guys use GMail and GApps. That’s more than enough for Google to know who are the people in your social graph, how important they are to you, how frequently you communicate with them, etc.

    > What Google will do, however is use brute force machine power to make best guesses about our likes and favorites, and in doing so, they will make the same mistake others make: they will have built a product that lacks empathy.

    Lack of empathy is the LAST thing anyone would use to describe Google Now which is INTIMATELY aware of you. I don’t see why Google Maps shouldn’t have the same level of intimacy built in with your needs, wants and preferences.

    > just like my ongoing skepticism of Facebook’s ability to do the right thing, I am pretty sure Google is going to put profit before people. That conversation is for another day, perhaps.

    Google has not sold out on people’s privacy for the sake of profits (except for occasional, one-off exceptions here and there like the snooping of WiFi data by streetview cars). Don’t think Google will change this policy any time soon. The writer is making these statements just to balance out his mostly positive article with some skepticism, which appears out of place and unfounded. The writer should have taken his own advice and kept that WHOLE conversation for another day, instead of coyly hinting at it here.

    1. Dude, are you serious? Not everyone uses Google. Gmail isn’t even the single most popular email service (Hotmail still is). Some of us have been so appalled at Google’s constant pushing of “privacy” boundaries that we’ve all but stopped using *any* of their services, vanilla searches included. There’s likely a fair number of people Google will be “intimately” familiar with but there’s probably just as many if not more that they will not have much of any information about.

      For me personally, I block ads on sites I’m unfamiliar with. I have an old Gmail address that I use for spam purposes that I NEVER send emails from and most definitely do NOT communicate with friends and family with and don’t have their contact info stored there. I use Bing for day-to-day searches. Twitter is my social network of choice, on which I don’t use my real name. I do my darnedest to keep my dusty Facebook profile restricted to family and very close friends (hard to do with their continuous privacy settings changes). I guarantee that more than 75% of my friends and family haven’t even heard of Google+, let alone use it. The vast majority of my map related searches are done on my iPhone which no longer has Google Maps on it (and didn’t collect my personal information when it did). I don’t use Google Drive or Docs. I did a Google search for myself once a couple years ago and they couldn’t find anything on me. Probably doesn’t help that I have a somewhat common first and last name. What else is there?

      I know am likely not a usual case here–I’m not trying to insinuate that I am by any stretch of the imagination–but I just wanted to point out that despite what Google tells you, they don’t know everything about everyone (*thankfully!*) and that assuming that every person alive uses enough of their services for them to mine details about you like your personal tastes in food, transportation type, places you want to visit, etc. is naive and shortsighted. They WANT you to think that but it’s far from the truth. But that’s why they have the tagline “It Gets Better the More You Use It” because they likely don’t have anywhere near enough information yet for it to work how it does in the demos for even everyone who may want to use it.

      That being said, even me being a non-Google user I am intrigued by some of the Maps features they announced today and I definitely am glad it’s not as ugly, cluttered, and convoluted as it used to be. Just makes me wish they weren’t so liberal about collecting and selling my information so I could be more comfortable about using it.

      1. “Just makes me wish they weren’t so liberal about collecting and selling my information so I could be more comfortable about using it.”

        – How ’bout some proof that Google sold your information? According to their privacy policy.

        “We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Google”.

        All of this “Google sell your information crap” are just propaganda by Google competitors especially Microsoft.

        Google is winning because its giving away useful products to people which is the anti-thesis business model of Microsoft, which ask people money for their product. Remember those days Microsoft milking people for their “service pack”?
        To counter this Microsoft is paying a lot to PR and marketing agency to tell people that they are pay Google through their information, which they are also doing. Bad part is they are paying shill and astroturfers to spread lies about Google selling its user’s information

        – Microsoft also collects it user’s information.
        “Microsoft collects and uses your personal information to operate and improve its sites and services”

        Microsoft actually didn’t specify that they are handing out user information for legal reasons.

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