Google Maps market share is amazing considering they have failed in Europe. Yeh! Thats a strong statement. I say that because almost everyone uses Google Maps as a default, until…it gets you lost.
What I do for a living (local search optimization) is very connected to mapping applications. What I’m saying is already known to anyone who tries to use Google Maps while traveling “outside of tourist areas” in Europe. That qualifier is very important because most visitors to Europe may never see what I’m illustrating here. Tourists will use Google Maps in their whirl-wind tour and blissfully return home unaware that they live in a Google Bubble.
Google Maps might work in heavily trafficked areas all over the world because tourists tend to do a lot of sharing, which Google then uses to maintain its services. However, try using Google Maps in the countryside – ne, the suburbs – ne, just off the beaten path – by maybe a block.
Don’t take my word for it. There are other Americans who notice this as well. http://streetfightmag.com/2016/08/31/maps-me-offers-open-source-alternative-to-google-and-apple-maps/, which mention Maps.me, a very good alternative maps solution.
I and all acquaintances-friends-strangers use a variety of other map alternatives in Europe. Copilot seems to be tops for serious navigators – especially where driving and avoiding major traffic jams on the Autobahn(s) is concerned. OpenStreetMap is very strong. I’m biased to open source anyway, and most European are as well (I get the feeling its about privacy, don’t you?). So the usefulness of OpenStreetMap in Europe is solid and has legs. And there are many apps spawned from OpenStreetMap, such as Locus promising even better things to come. As an example, the level of detail in Locus is great for outdoors use. Google is not even a contender.
Google has failed to win heart and minds in Europe ( Gee! can’t understand how that happened? Could it be the eavesdropping? ) I have seen a number of clues that indicate Europeans are editing Google Maps to include erroneous information or removing details altogether. I have no examples to offer because who can do that in the shifting sands of the Internet (and Google), but try it yourself. Let me know.
I can’t speak for other parts of the world either. One has to live for some time in an area to know things like this.
Sadly, my business revolves around search engines such as Google and I would rather not see things deteriorate this way for any search engine, but nothing is so consistent as change.