ComScore: Mobile map access up 39% since 2010

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More than 48 million U.S. mobile subscribers accessed maps on their phones during the three-month period ending in May 2011, a year-over-year increase of 39 percent, according to a new study issued by digital research firm comScore. Smartphone owners make up four out of every five mobile map users, reaching 38.2 million in May--up 75 percent over the previous year. Applications represent the primary access point for roughly two-thirds of smartphone map users (up 98 percent compared to 2010), with browser-based access about half as popular and growing at 49 percent year-over-year.

Among all U.S. subscribers accessing maps on their mobile device, 88.9 percent do so while in a car or other vehicle, 16.9 percent check maps while walking, biking or running, and 13.6 percent are public transit users. Sixty-four percent of mobile maps users access turn-by-turn directions, followed by graphical maps without turn-by-turn data (48.3 percent) and turn-by-turn directions without a graphical component (46.0 percent).

The growth of mobile map access corresponds with a slight dip in the number of Americans relying on fixed Internet map access. Close to 94 million consumers accessed maps via their home or work computer during the survey period, down 2 percent compared to year-ago totals.

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