Mobile maps show the way

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The use of mapping services on mobile phones is growing rapidly in the US and Europe, new figures show.

Apple's iPhone is leading the way in the US, spurred on by the dedicated Google Maps application and the inclusion of GPS in the new iPhone 3G.

Users in Europe prefer the Nokia N95 and N70, according to the figures from monitoring service comScore.

The research found that eight per cent of US mobile subscribers and three per cent of European subscribers accessed maps from their mobile phone between March and May 2008, a growth rate of 82 and 49 per cent respectively.

"The mobile phone as a personal navigation device makes tremendous sense," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst at comScore.

"With the influx of devices such as the iPhone with GPS, Nokia's purchase of Navteq and the growing popularity of downloadable navigation applications, you don't need a map to see where this sector is going."

It seems that the majority of mobile map users are seeking driving directions, even in Europe, where many travellers walk, cycle or use public transport.

While mobile access to maps has surged, online access to maps using the PC shows more modest gains in the US and Western Europe.

The move to mobile mapping has meant that online access to directions via the PC has dipped in the UK and increased only slightly in the US.
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