21st century maps are commercial products, not national efforts

From the Map Room. Popsci has an interesting article about "how digital maps are changing the landscape of the 21st century". Among the interesting bits is this RAD image, showing a moving plane captured by the GeoEye satellite. But the main argument is that mapping used to be the purview of nations and international bodies, but now commercial entities like Google, Bing, Mapquest, and other digital services are the principal mapmakers of the 21st century. Now, maps are commercial products, compiled from a variety of sources that often blend government-derived mapping data with user-generated content. The article suggests they are subject to conflicting information, differences of political opinion and outright error. In addition, the article claims we haven't really focused on this transfer of cartographic power, but of course many have commented on this (e.g. Goodchild's VGI article frfom 2007 in Geojournal) in the academic world.