A free service that can be integrated on a website, displaying a map with a specific location.
Google Maps can be implemented on websites to show people the location of services, businesses, or other points of interest. This service offers website users an easy way to find the route from from their current location to the address of the business owner hosting the site. However, this service also opens up an opportunity for Google to find out a user’s physical location when browsing the website. Next to that, it also collects the user's IP address when loading in the map, which is also valuable information.
Google Maps is an objectively convenient option for getting directions, but at the expense of allowing Google to collect location data about you. By clicking "allow," or if you manually enter your address, Google is able to link this location to the rest of your data. This data is very valuable to Google because if the company can track your physical location, they can infer a lot of information from it. This information allows them to can build up a profile of all locations you regularly visit, where you live, work, where you go for food, where you go out, how often you leave the house, whether you are regularly sleeping at someone else’s place and much more. Consequently using this information, Google can, for example, change the advertisements for restaurants when they see you are in a different city, or show you ads for gifts around Valentine’s day when they know you often spend the night at someone else’s place.
Google Maps is free to use and install on websites, and it offers users a very convenient way of finding directions to places. The fact that so many people use it means that Google gathers the largest amount of data, which in turn allows them to improve it. This feedback loop creates an immense advantage over any potential competition. Constantly advancing Google services make it near impossible for other businesses to compete with Google Maps, further cementing their internet monopoly.