The US mobile map audience grew 44% between April 2009 and April 2010, according to new comScore MobiLens data.

33.5M Access Mobile Maps
For the three-month period ending April 2010, 33.5 million mobile users accessed maps at least once during a month, an increase of 44% from the previous year. Visitors accessing maps one to three times per month increased 47% to 17.1 million users, while those accessing once a week increased 60% to 11.6 million users. The most frequent users, those accessing maps on a near-daily basis, climbed 9% to reach 4.8 million users.

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Smartphone, App Usage Drives Mobile Map Growth
For the three-month period ending April 2010, 26% of smartphone users accessed maps via applications, while 19% accessed maps via browser in a month. In comparison, just 2% of feature phone users accessed maps via applications, with 4% doing so via browser.

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Smartphone users drove growth in both application and browser map usage, with app access nearly tripling to 12.7 million smartphone users, while browser map access surged 93% to nearly 9 million smartphone users. The number of mobile map app users first surpassed mobile map browser users in February 2010.

Drivers Use Mobile Maps
Among those who accessed maps on their mobile devices, 87.2% did so from a car or other vehicle, with 17.2% doing so while walking, running or biking, and 16.7% while using public transit. The most utilized types of maps were graphical maps with turn-by-turn directions (60.3% of mobile maps users), followed by 50.6% using a graphical map without turn-by-turn directions and 46.8% using turn-by-turn directions without a graphical map.

European Mobile Mapping Grows 68%
Mobile mapping is also on the rise in Europe this year, with the rate of mobile mapping growing 68% between February 2009 and February 2010, according to previous comScore MobiLens data. In total, there were an average of 21.1 million users of mobile mapping and directional services in the EU5 nations of the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy in the three months leading to February 2010. This was a 68% increase from an average of 12.5 million EU5 mobile mapping and directional services users in the three months leading to February 2009.

Among those who accessed maps via their mobile devices for the three-month period ending February 2010, most (68.2%) accessed those services in a car or other vehicle.

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