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Mining Local Data for the Digital Maps Race

In the arms race for digital map supremacy, Internet users are now becoming important tools for media firms. Yahoo!, for example, has directly appealed to its users to help them add local business information to its mapping services. Microsoft is asking mountain bikers to help them plot the best trails through parks. As more and more data is becoming available to digital map providers, consumer usage of digital maps seems to be increasing concurrently. According to audience measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings, visitors to online maps increased 28 percent this year. In its article about the hot and competitive digital mapping business, the Associated Press compares the Web's most popular offerings from Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and MapQuest, revealing the various private and government sources they license their data from.

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