For anyone interested in constant and regular innovation, Google Maps is always a great place to start. For those who are focused on the importance of Location Intelligence, it is, of course, a critical source of insight as well as innovation.
Google Maps is always identifying and leveraging new sources of information aka data for its platform. At the same time, an increasing number of partners are leveraging API’s to maximise this innovation and customer value.
One of the most recent innovations, accidentally found when organising logistics for an upcoming New York car rental drop off, is that Google now provides gas station pricing on the desktop, mobile and tablet version of Google Maps. It is a simple touch, but again one that gives innovation to the consumer. We consumers can instantly identify the cheapest fuel that meets our location requirements, i.e., where the car is, or needs to be.
The two photos from desktop and mobile provide the visual insight into the innovation.
It also creates competitive tension for the Gas/Petrol station vendors. They know their competitive pricing, and so do the customers. The vendors, therefore, must beat or meet with value added services, the pricing if they are to maximise their business for their well-informed customers. Of course, there have been many apps available to provide this fuel information in the past, and they will still have a role, but the convenience of having this information embedded into Google Maps and the inevitable search is what sets the innovation of Google Maps a part. It is fast, information rich and meets customer requirements, even if the customer does not always even know it yet.