Google to Buy Social-Mapping App Waze

In the battle over mobile mapping technology, Google is reportedly set to pay more than $1 billion for the tiny social-mapping company, Waze.

Waze uses crowd-sourced data from its users to generate maps and give real-time updates on traffic jams, speed traps and alternate routes. 

Jan Dawson is chief telecom analyst at Ovum. He said the fact Google is willing to pay so much for what is essentially an app shows the growing importance of mapping and location services.

"It's really a crucial space for Google," Dawson said. "And one where it needs all the assets it can get to try to maintain the lead it's built up over the last several years."

Dawson expects Waze will continue as a stand-alone product. But he thinks Google will integrate the data generated by Waze into its own Google maps.

He said the deal preempts offers from Apple and Facebook, which were also interested in the company.

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