Friday, August 26, 2011

GPSing it

I used to not worry about GPS.

I would carry a phone book in my car for the map and address features so if I ever needed to get "unlost", I could.

Then last year when I got my first smartphone, I started playing with some of the apps and recently have been using the Google Navigation when I travel out of town.

Others are doing it too according to this report from Mediapost:

Smartphone Leads You On
According to a new U.S. study of mobile map usage by comScore, 48 million mobile users accessed maps on their mobile device during the three month average period ending May 2011, an increase of 39% from the previous year, driven in large part by the increase in smartphone adoption. The study found that map usage via mobile applications was the primary access point for smartphone owners as the map app audience doubled in size over the past year.

A comparative look at map usage among fixed-Internet users (i.e. accessing from a home or work computer) found that map visitation saw a slight decline in total audience in May 2011 versus the previous year, dipping 2%, while still maintaining a substantially larger audience of 93.8 million visitors.

Map Category Audience for Mobile and Fixed Internet Access (May 2011 vs. May 2010)

Total Audience (000)



% Change

Fixed Internet Map Access




All Mobile Map Access




Source: comScore, July 2011

Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, says "The strong growth in mobile map usage and flattening of desktop map usage is indicative of broader behavioral shifts being wrought by smartphones... For years, consumers have been able to check directions on their desktop computers prior to leaving their home or office, now smartphones allow people to skip this step and access maps on the go, as they need them, showing off one of the most powerful capabilities of mobile - just-in-time-information."

The number of smartphone map users (which accounted for 4 out of every 5 mobile map users) reached 38.2 million in May, an increase of 75% from the previous year and outpacing the total smartphone audience growth of 57%. Applications represented the primary access point for approximately two-thirds of smartphone map users, while browser map access was about half as popular as apps and grew at half the rate.

Smartphone Browser and Application Usage for Map Access (3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending May 2010; Total U.S. Age 13+)

Total Audience (000)



% Change

Total Smartphone




Accessed Maps via Application




Accessed Maps via Mobile Browser




Source: comScore MobiLens, July 2011

Among all mobile users (smartphone and feature phone) who accessed maps on their mobile devices, 88.9% did so from a car or other vehicle, with 16.9% doing so while walking, running or biking, and 13.6% while using public transit. The most utilized types of maps were graphical maps with turn-by-turn directions.

Mobile Map Usage by Mode of Travel and Type of Map (3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011; Total U.S. Mobile Audience Age 13+: Smartphone and Feature Phone)

Travel Or Map

% of Mobile Users Accessing Maps

Driving or riding in a car or other vehicle


Walking or running or biking


Using public transit


Type of Map or Directions Accessed (Multiple OK)

Graphical map with turn by turn directions


Graphical map without turn by turn directions


Turn by turn directions without graphical map


Source: comScore MobiLens, July 2011

For more information from comScore please visit here.

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