It's All About... Location, Location, Location

Microsoft announced the purchase of Mutlimap today, a UK based online mapping site and service. Multimap serves up about 6 million pages per day and focuses heavily on the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

Location information is being driven into every application that could affect us or be used while being mobile. Advertising has been localized for some time (usually by you supplying a zip code at some time or another) but applications are now contextual to your location, right now. GPS in PDAs and phone help of course. So do services, like Quova which maps IP information to geolocation for all kinds of services from fraud detection to enforcing local blackouts for professional sports broadcast requirements.

"Partnering with Microsoft gives us a world of new opportunities to build our mapping services into new technologies and applications. Microsoft is in a position to bring even more value to the Multimap service and give people everywhere new, exciting and fun ways to get from point A to point B," Jeff Kelisky, the CEO of Multimap, said in a statement.

Mapping companies are getting gobbled up. Earlier Navteq and TeleAtlas have already been purchased, the two primary companies that supply most of the street maps and satellite information used in GPSs, online mapping services, and good old fashioned printed maps. I personally haven't taken stock of how many independent mapping related companies are still out there but there can't be too many left.

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