One insight that I gained while doing analysis upon the data we received with our survey data is the fact that the main purpose of Google Maps at the moment is that of finding specific directions from point A to point B. I think that while this is expected to be the main purpose of the mapping system, Google has an opportunity to tap into a user segment that may have not been tapped into yet. In our survey, the second most popular option that was selected was that of places of interest. I feel that this could be a very big area of opportunity for Google and using their mapping system. I think one thing that they are doing now that could be ventured into more would be the use of their search engine data and integrating this into their Google Maps options. The big upside of using the Google Maps service is that you don’t necessarily have to have a specific address to find the location you are attempting to get directions for. If the user is looking for directions to a specific company, in many cases the address is not necessary, and only the name of the company is. This makes their mapping service much more user friendly than that of other options like MapQuest that require an address to provide directions to a location.
Another option that could potentially go hand-in-hand with this could be the use of a recommendation engine that could tie into the search function. With this recommendation engine, if a user was to type in a city of interest and specify that they may not be familiar with the area or are a first time visitior, the Google recommendation engine could give user suggested recommendations on options like lodging and restaurants. I feel that if Google could tap more into both of these markets, they would be able to increase their share of the online mapping market, and also make the user’s experience more pleasant, which will lead to more returning users.