Yahoo! Inc. is updating its online mapping service to include driving directions for 34 European countries in an attempt to drive some traffic away from rival services from AOL, Microsoft and Google and attract advertisers, which according to a report by The Kelsey Group, spent $4.1 billion last year on this services and are expected to spend $11.1 billion in 2011.
In April, AOL's industry-leading Mapquest service attracted 49.2 million U.S. visitors, a 3 percent increase from last year, while traffic to Google's maps surged 49 percent to 30.8 million visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.
Meanwhile, U.S. traffic to Yahoo maps declined 5 percent to 29.4 million.
Along with the new feature, Yahoo! also moved its online mapping service to a new platform developed in-house that the company said makes the Web site faster and more accurate.