Amazon Web Services’ move to launch a new service that allows developers to add maps and location-based functionality to applications should create interesting competition for Google. While AWS Location Service isn’t anywhere near Google Maps right now, the cloud giant has the deep pockets and the tech bandwidth to improve quickly. The AWS service is based on high quality geospatial data from Esri and HERE – two of the largest location data providers in the world – and plans to add more partners.

“The Amazon Location Service gives you access to maps and location-based services from multiple providers at a fraction of the cost of the alternative, on an affordable and paid basis,” said AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr.

No prizes for guessing who Barr labeled “common alternatives”. At a fraction of the cost, the service gives developers – especially small and medium-sized – the choice of when to …

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