In the 1990s, there was one company synonymous with the internet, and that was yahoo. Yahoo was a juggernaut; at that time, it was the most significant internet company. It was the equivalent to Google at the time, and it was used for everything from search and was also known for yahoomaps driving directions. Unfortunately for them, Yahoo and Yahoo Maps are no longer prominent tools for driving directions or route planning, having been replaced by Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps, and others.
In this article, we will do a quick history and retrospective of Yahoo maps; we will look at what happened to Yahoo Maps as the primary tool for driving directions. We will then look at Google Maps and other competitors that took over for driving directions.
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History of Yahoo! Maps
The Story of Yahoo!
Yahoo! was founded in 1994 in Sunnyvale, California. The company was one of the pioneers of the internet. Initially, it was a directory and a search engine. In the 90s, it was one of the most used websites on the internet, being one of the leading search engines. Initially, it started with a directory of sites, and later on, they created a crawler (a tool to look up new websites), and they had 20 human beings to classify them to help people find relevant information. In the early days, it also launched an email service, chatting, games, and more.
In the early 2000s, is where the struggles were starting. After acquiring their search engine, Inktomi, they ultimately ended up ceding search as their primary business; at that point, they were outclassed by then by Google in search. They were looking into becoming a media and entertainment company. They invested in music and movies as well as creating games, sports, finances, and news. To this day, the significant components remain the finances and fantasy sports.
They also created a Maps tool, and that’s the topic of our next section!
History of Yahoo Maps
Yahoo Maps was created and launched in 1998. It was a free online tool that provided current location, driving directions, and various other features. These features include weather maps, live traffic maps, a route planner with multiple stops, a satellite map view, and other formats, points of interest like gas stations, hotels, yelp destinations, and much more. It was a comprehensive tool that offered a world of experiences to users. In 2006, Yahoo maps released local maps, and in 2007, it released a new style of maps
At its height, it was considered the premier mapping experience and had the best technology, UI, and included some pioneering features like “distance,” local business listings, local search on a map, selling ads, and more. It had a significant number of features and content experience, including:
- Driving directions, routes, and route planning;
- Map categories and types;
- Road conditions and traffic incidents;
- Address settings, and storage of contacts, addresses, and locations;
- Places of interest in the city for trip or journey;
- Local business search;
- international coverage, and more.
On June 4th, 2015, Yahoo! declared it would be terminating Yahoo Maps for good.
What happened to Yahoo Maps?
If the company’s maps service provider was so extensive, then what happened? Why does it no longer exist? Many reasons point to the demise of Yahoo Maps, the main reasons in many articles are the following:
- Lack of Innovation: Yahoo!, it was said, did not evolve sufficiently: Google Maps and Apple Maps overtook them;
- Lack of Focus: Yahoo! had some issues in their direction. They chose to diversify in too many areas without specializing in crucial features that are useful to the users. Google Maps and Apple Maps, on the other hand, invested resources, time, and energy to making a superior product.
- Lack of Data: Another advantage that the big tech companies Apple and Google Maps have today is that they can leverage enormous about of data from their users to improve their software products. For instance, Google Maps can benefit from mobile phone and desktop applications on both the on map and the app every single time a user is asking for driving directions.
- Lack of practicality: Finally, the maps didn’t provide a practical or useful service to users in terms of driving directions, a route planner, map types, location information page, and more.
Free Options to Replace Yahoo Maps!
The competition has overtaken the once-dominant giant. Below are the new dominant players
- Google maps: Google Maps has become the dominant mapping tool; it does driving directions, is a route planner, has an excellent map and location tools. Google Maps has worked towards asserting its dominance and usefulness. It continually uses it’s data and tech lead to improve driving directions and other features it offers.
- Apple Maps: Apple Maps is behind Google Maps and is working to catch up. Apple started creating their map infrastructure due to Google Maps’ privacy concerns. It provides mobile and desktop driving directions. With each new release of iOs and MacOS, the driving directions are even more precise and useful. Of course, Mac has an unparalleled design.
- MapQuest: MapQuest’s tool is the story of another tech giant that faltered in the mid-days of the internet. This service started a comeback recently and is looking to become a significant player in the mapping, driving directions, and transportation again. It’s particularly useful to find access to a fun place, restaurants, and services.
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The short answer is that the best tool for driving directions depends on your needs. Google Maps currently has the lead in terms of data, up to date maps, and features. Apple Maps is looking to gain in quality and experience. MapQuest is also looking to create a unique and useful knowledge.
Unfortunately, Yahoo Maps was discontinued in 2016. At that point, the features and functionality was too far behind the other dominant players (Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc.)
In conclusion, if you’re a small business owner and you’re looking to use a service to find GPS coordinates, a walking path to your destination, or driving directions for your car, you can no longer click the mouse on Yahoo! Maps. This option has been relegated to the memory boxes of the internet. New services like Google Maps, Apple Maps, and others now stand to serve you. I hope you found this exciting and relevant. Please let us know if you have any other questions, send us a message, tell your friends, and drive safe!