Google to buy Waze Social Mapping Software for $1.3 billion

It may come as a surprise that Google, who already own by far the most popular mapping system on the planet, have decided to purchase Israeli company Waze – a social mapping tool that harnesses its 47 million strong userbase to provide up to the second traffic data – for over a billion dollars. On the surface it seems an unnecessary luxury given Google’s existing dominance in the mapping market, not to mention the scepticism over crowd sourcing which many still feel is fundamentally unreliable and likely to lose out to technology based solutions in the long term. Clearly Google disagree.

Putting the crowdsourcing issue to one side, it’s certainly no surprise that the acquisition has taken place within the mapping field. Maps means mobile and mobile means mobile ads. As the internet takes to the streets it stands to reason that Google would see mapping software as critical territory over the next decade, and clearly traffic software is a central part of that. By providing the most accurate traffic information they give users one more reason to remain loyal to Google maps which is now at the heart of the Google experience.