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Yandex Extends Map Capabilities To 4 More Continents

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Yandex, the leading search engine in Russia, has expanded its mapping capabilities by purchasing a license for digital maps from NAVTEQ, the leading location provider service. In yet another move expanding their worldwide search services, Yandex has purchased a license for highly detailed maps of Europe, North America, Australia, and developed countries in Asia to expand their Yandex.Maps product.

The maps are licensed to show intercity motorways and highways, urban traffic networks, streets, and buildings. Previously, Yandex provided little mapping services outside of Russia and Ukraine. Last year, using a prior license from NAVTEQ, Yandex provided map information for the country of Turkey. Because of its popularity, Yandex has now expanded their reach considerably.

“Our users have already appreciated high-quality detailed maps of Russia, Ukraine with the search function and other useful features such as routing, traffic information, satellite images and panoramic views. We continue to enhance our map services for Belarus and Kazakhstan. NAVTEQ’s content will help us make Yandex.Maps a comprehensive, all-purpose mapping service that can answer users’ questions about countries throughout the world,” said Maria Orlova, head of Yandex.Maps Production and Quality Control Service.

Through the Yandex.Maps API, Yandex will allow website owners to embed maps of various countries into their pages. Yandex plans to continue to gradually add new map content to both its desktop web version and its mobile version and mobile apps, eventually weaving their way to a detailed world map service at Yandex.Maps.

Yandex is Russia's largest and most popular search engine, enjoying more than a 60 percent share of the search market. NAVTEQ is a Chicago-based company and the leading global provider of geolocation content around the world.

Over the past two months, Yandex has added to their ever-increasing line-up of products including video search and face recognition in image search. Last Fall, Yandex invested $15 million in U.S. search upstart Blekko.

What do you think, is Yandex taking strides to move into the U.S. search space? With all the Google privacy policy concerns, is the time right for them to do so? Would you consider using a U.S. version of Yandex?


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