The biz is all cranked up over the Apple vs Google Maps thing that came from the latest release of Apple's mobile operating system, IOS 6. See this article in the NY Times.
In the background however, Amazon has been building its own maps capability. In July of this year Amazon bought mapping company UpNext and I think Amazon could come from behind to leapfrog Apple and maybe even catch up to Google.
Impossible? After all, the reason that Apple has rushed its mapping solution to market before it is ready is because Apple needs user data to improve the service.
Amazon just happens to have a close relationship, a codependent relationship some would say, with delivery companyies like UPS and FedEx. UPS has 250,000 drivers! It would not surprise me if there are 500,000 drivers worldwide driving all day, every day, delivering stuff -- much of which is from Amazon. This year Google announced it has driven 5 million miles collecting mapping data. If Amazon got its 500,000 drivers to collect map data -- that would be only 10 miles for each driver. It would take more time to install the collection equipment than it would to surpass all of Google's collections efforts so far. Call it a week to install the stuff and by the end of the first day, Amazon would have 10x the data that Google has collected.
Not only that, but professional drivers in every market in the whole world could return much higher quality data than users could.
Could be cool.