'Mapmania' : Why Maps are the New Interface and will be a Defining Trend of 2009
The team at Trendwatching.com have been gazing into their crystal balls to predict the defining consumer trends of 2009 which could be applied profitably and help you ride out the recession.
'Mapmania' (everything mapping related) was listed in the top 10 trends for 2009. Currently mapping works well for obviously geographically dependent companies such as estate agents or travel companies who have utilised technologies such as Google maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth, and its popularity will continue to grow in 2009 for these types of businesses. However, Trendwatching.com predicts that the use of mapping will gradually infiltrate every part of our daily lives. As they quite rightly pointed out, a map interface is a universally familiar method of organizing, finding and tracking relevant information on objects, events and people. Therefore, it makes sense that consumers will want to utilise mapping for everyday tasks such as meeting friends or finding out what's happening in their local communities.
As the data providers and technology companies add to their offering every day, this will allow consumers to use mapping and GPS services like never before and over the coming year they will come to expect mapping interfaces to be a standard offering.
Other trends identified by the Trendwatching team include the next phase of consumer interaction, Feedback 3.0. Those companies who enter into a dialogue with their clients, providing feedback to the negative comments as well as positive, will get top marks from the consumer’s perspective, and as a consequence they will gain more business.
Trendwatching also state that any brand would be 'stupid' not to at least dabble in these services, to measure how they can have an impact on your business.