Google just launched live traffic info for Bogotá, Panama City and San Jose (Costa Rica). In addition, Google is also bringing its real-time traffic data to 130 smaller cities in the U.S., including Kalamazoo (Michigan), Portland (Maine) and Tuscaloosa (Alabama). For the most part, this feature relies on data Google gets from Google Maps and Google Navigation users who share location data with the company. As Android becomes more popular and as more users use their phones for directions as they are driving, Google obviously gets more data. Thanks to this, it can now show live traffic for side roads and arterial roads that don’t typically see as much traffic as a highway or major urban area, for example.
In addition to these new cities, Google also says it has expanded its live traffic coverage around the world, including in parts of “Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.”
Google first launched this live traffic feature in 30 cities in early 2007. Since then, it has expanded its coverage around the world (the best coverage, though, is currently in the U.S. and Western Europe). Earlier this year, for example, it added coverage for New Zealand and in June, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Mexico, Peru, Romania and South Africa also got real-time traffic updates on Google Maps.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...